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An exclusive selection of three bikavér from three award-winner wineries of the cool-climate Eger wine regions, showcasing the many faces of this emblematic Hungarian red wine.

Bikavér or Bull's Blood in English is a famous Hungarian red wine cuvée exclusive to the Eger and Szekszárd regions. It can only be made by adhering to strict guidelines, yet this traditional terroir wine serves as the ruby red signature of each winemaker, living up to its legendary name. At least three local grape varieties are combined into a perfectly harmonious blend, creating a rich and fruity masterpiece with a tantalisingly complex mineral structure that only the best Bull's Blood can provide.

 

BOLYKI Egri Bikavér 'Bull's Blood' 2016

Attractive, deep ruby colour. A spicy nose shows a core of dark stewed fruit and a hint of chocolate. Rich, chewy palate with intense black pepper spice, followed by dark cherry and blackcurrant notes and a touch of vanilla. Lively acidity, tight tannic structure, and long mineral finish. This classic Bikaver promises to age very well so worth laying down a bottle or two.

Grape varieties: Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch), Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zweigelt, Blauburger, Portugieser

Soil type: Brown forest soil

Fermentation: Spontaneous, in stainless steel tank

Ageing: 18 months in oak barrels

Alcohol content: 13.0%

Bottle size: 0.75l

Special feature: Vegan; unfiltered

Awards: Sommelier Wine Award 2019 - Gold Medal

Winemaker: Bolyki Winery, Eger - Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

János Bolyki is a first-generation winemaker at the vanguard of a new wave of dynamic young wine professionals, offering a youthful take on classic Hungarian wines. In his Eger winery, located in an abandoned stone quarry with the cellars carved straight into the rock, he produces a range of red and white wines which evoke the character and rich minerality of this unique terroir. For a refreshing taste of Eger, look no further than a bottle of Bolyki.

 

BUKOLYI Organic Egri Bikavér 'Bull's Blood' 2018

Combining hand-picked grapes from three traditional varieties, this is the only organic Egri Bikavér produced in the region and it certainly packs a punch. The wine shows off an attractive inky purple and red hue; pouring medium to medium-full. It's clear there is depth and complexity here, as a seductive array of flavours are jumping out from the glass. Oak and bramble, alongside red and blue fruits, are complemented by rustic aromas of forest floor and chocolate. Hints of flint, smoke and paprika can be found on the finish. A tantalising acidity and medium tannins give the wine its balance.

This is accessible for drinking now, however, some restraint will leave you with a fantastic drop.

Expert Opinion

Caroline Gilby - Master of Wine - 89 points - Decanter November 2021

A dark ruby wine with generous notes of spiced plum, blackcurrant jam and a hint of balsamic complexity. On the palate, juicy, ripe raspberry fruit and supple tannins - a modern, fruit-focused Bikavér from the only certified producer in the region.

Grape varieties: Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch), Syrah, Pinot Noir

Soil type: Brown forest soil

Fermentation: Spontaneous, in small wooden vats

Ageing: 18 months in oak barrels

Alcohol content: 13.5%

Bottle size: 0.75l

Special feature: Organic; vegan

Awards: Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 - Bronze Medal - 87 points

Winemaker: Bukolyi Winery, Eger - Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

The Bukolyi family winery was established 15 years ago by husband-and-wife pair Marcell and Lilla. They cultivate traditional varieties over 14-hectares, located on the southern slopes of the Grand Cru Nagy-Eged hill, on the only 100% organic vineyard of the Eger wine region. The family oversee the grapes’ entire journey from vine to bottle, including hand-harvesting of healthy and ripe berries, as well as gentle vinification using minimal intervention. A small, family-sized cellar serves as the focal point of the vineyards, where they make the unique chalky and volcanic terroir come alive in every drop.

 

ST. ANDREA Egri Bikavér Superior “Bull” 2018

What more could you ask for from a Bull's Blood. The nose is complex and deep. Red cherry, red berries and black fruits complement oak, chocolate and sweet smoked spice. A medium body with elegant minerality is indicative of the volcanic, cool-climate Eger terroir. Soft, ripe tannins and a fine acidity set this wine up perfectly for food pairing and ageing if you can wait.

Grape varieties: Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch), Merlot, Pinot noir, Cabernet sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet franc, Kadarka

Soil type: Brown forest soil with clay, rhyolite tuff in the deep layers

Fermentation: In stainless steel tank

Ageing: 13 months in oak barrel

Alcohol content: 14.5%         

Bottle size: 0.75l

Winemaker: St. Andrea Winery, Eger - Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

The philosophy of the family-owned, multi-award-winning St. Andrea winery is to create expressive wines of character by combining a traditional approach with modern winemaking methods. Their main focus is on indigenous varieties while paying the utmost attention to the uniqueness of individual terroirs and vineyards. By putting their heart and soul into crafting each bottle, the father-and-son team at St. Andrea is providing you with wines of outstanding quality that reflect the great potential of the Eger region.


Chicken Paprikash with Noodles

Chicken Paprikash, called Paprikás Csirke in Hungarian, is a popular weekend staple and a classic of the Hungarian culinary arts. As suggested by its name, smoky and aromatic paprika is at the heart of the dish, which combines simple ingredients into a comfort food paradise.

Goulash Soup

Goulash (Gulyas) is the most famous Hungarian dish in the world and one of the country's national dishes. This is a very traditional beef goulash recipe made with simple ingredients like meat, peppers and root vegetables elevated to perfection by the use of Hungary’s most famous spice: paprika.

Egri Bikavér 'Bull's Blood' Selection
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