Before turning to this Hungarian Chardonnay, I feel I have to reveal the source behind my new interest in eastern European wines such as this:
Manfred Klimek a.k.a. Captain Cork is, to me, the freshest and most entertaining voice among German language wine journalists. I particularly enjoy his reports on winegrowers and -makers behind what used to be the iron curtain, because they bring out the passion and personality of individualists who have often not yet mastered winemaker marketing-speak. Highly recommended, 'nuff said.
Back to the Chard, then, and a weird little number it is:
Pale gold, with a hint of onion skin brown. Unusual.
Smells of brown sugar and fried banana, with a salty freshness at the same time. Even more unusual.
Tastes mildly oxidised, with cough medicine and vegetable notes, but at the same time fresh acidity, some oak, and another visit by the mysterious fried banana on the finish. Most unusual.
There are never enough truly original wines out there, and always too much vanilla-coated perfection, which is why I'm glad I had this one, even though I could not enjoy it in all its aspects.