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St Andrea, Eger

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Eger, Hungary.

the wines

St Andrea Napbor 2007
A blend of Pinot Blanc, Harslevelu, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Olaszrizling. Clean, cool apple and straw scents, quite an Alsacien feel. Good sense of ripeness, and an oatmeally, lightly toasty oak comes through as well as a touch of grassiness. On the palate quite full textured with sweet, ripe fruit. This has good length and texture with an orange peel tang. Very easy to drink and well balanced, if fairly anonymous. 86/100.

St Andrea Orokke 2007
In the mix here is Pinot Gris, Harslevelu, Rajani Rizling, Viognier, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. Slightly more perfumed, floral character, with the oak still present, with some subtle orchard fruit coming through. On the palate the oak is fairly prominent, and there's a pithy, dry lemon and grapefruit character. This is a fairly savoury, serious wine with a mineral character and plenty of bite. There is a mid-palate juiciness and a hint of complexity here with more fruit into the finish. 88/100

St Andrea Aldas Egri Bikavér 2006
Kekfrankos, Merlot, Blauburger, Pinot Noir, Menoir, Kadarka. Definite sense of minerality on the nose, with a cool, charcoally, slightly underripe and raw character. The palate has a racy, linear acidity and crisp, tight red fruit. The rustic tannin adds some grip, and the freshness pushes through leaving this tangy with just a little warming spice. 86/100

St Andrea Kekfrankos Toberc 2006
Warming, earthy, with meaty and dark plum tones. There's a cedary, old wood character too. On the palate it is medium-bodied with an inky extraction and dry, cherry and plum-skinned grip. Nice quality here and a savoury, racy acidity with the oak warming the finish slightly. 88/100

St Andrea Merengo Egri Bikavér Superior 2006
51% Kekfrankos, with Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot. 'Superior' designation in force since 2002, which demands lower yields. A touch of blue/black, glossy fruit here with black fruit density. Plenty of new oak here that is dense and coffeeish. The palate has lovely sweetness and juiciness of fruit, and there is more flesh on this wine that the straight Kekfrankos, with a deliciously integrated oak quality. The tannin are very fine and ripe here, and the balance is excellent. Sells for around 40 Euros locally. An excellent, plush and structured wine, but very international in style and little evidence of the 'traditional' philosophy. 91/100

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