No: the man who set our minds on fire – and revealed the impoverishment of our language – is a winemaker from the Subotičko–Horgoškoj region of northern Serbia. Think we're being esoteric for esoteric's sake? You are incorrect.
There are simply corners of the world that — through accidents of history — don't have Wine Councils. Whose governments don't have hundreds of thousands of EU dollars allocated to promote their vinous zipcodes in big hotel lobbies in major American metropolises. But we're here to tell you: promotional hype has nothing to do with vinous wonder.
Like the town of Šupljak, in the Subotičko–Horgoškoj region of northern Serbia: a place that's not in any Wine Atlases... despite the fact that viticulture here has been documented as far back as the 1200's! Part of Hungary for centuries, the population here remains mostly ethnic Hungarian... and the grapes, too, are from a time way before "Balkanized" was an adjective.
It's here that an ex-punk named Oszkár Maurer made a name for himself as the hottest-sh!# winemaker in all of Serbia. He farms a measly 7 hectares here... including the oldest known Kadarka vineyard (Hungary's most beloved red grape) in the world (!) planted in 1880.
Oszkár also has 9 hectares in the Srem region (a wine region since the Romans called it Syrmia) a little further south, in a nigh-mystical spot called 'Fruška Gora.' How much can be said about this place? Serbia's first national park has volcanic soils and is alternately called “The Holy Mountain” and the “Jewel of Serbia;” maybe a theological thesis is required to discuss these wines!
There's so much to say – and so much that's unsayable! – that you're best off not reading about the man and his wines, but attending this Thursday and tasting them! As well as talking to one of the most insatiably curious, vinously adventurous wine importers in all of America: Eric Danch.
Come at 6:00 to get your first glass... but be here by 6:15 sharp to catch the discussion with Eric: while this won't be a staid seminar, we will be going in order; these wines are just too special not to pay attention to them!