Taking “Mama’s Medicine” to the next level, there is historical precedent for the pharmacological use of wine. On an extinct volcanic butte in Western Hungary named “Somló Hill” there have been, for centuries, the growth, harvesting, vinification and procurement of white wines for medical ailments ranging from kidney problems and anemia to, amazingly, liver problems. This ancestral stead of the products of healing – the wines garnered from the grapes grown on the hill – have primarily focused on the autochthonous grape Juhfark that has its own absolutely fascinating history, tied up in consummation rituals and preferential use by royals, from the Habsburgs (who would vacation on nearby Lake Balaton) to Queen Victoria herself. Think something like Viagra meets Muskateller. In any case, it is on this butte that Jász Laci founded his winery whose Hungarian name translates to: The Big Mustached-Jász Laci-Winery. Definitely look him up – the mustache is no joke. And neither, it turns out, are his wines though we cannot say whether they carry the medicinal properties of old. For Jász, he was originally drawn to Georgian winemaking methods that follow the approach of extended macerations for all colors of grapes in addition to extracting bold aromatics from completely zero-zero winemaking. He’s followed through on this ethos ever since, and his wines have only gotten better with every vintage. Crafted from the Zöld Veltelini grape, this is a surprisingly light amber wine whose essence possesses something of the enormous, windswept, Puszta (plains) of Eastern Hungary despite the distance.
Vinification: 100% organic Zöld Veltelini (or Grüner Veltliner) grown on black basalt. Fermented with native yeasts on the skins in used Hungarian oak. 6 months of extended skin contact in-barrel. Unfined, unfiltered, with no added sulphur.
Tasting: Amber in the glass. Herbaceous and tea-like on the nose. That same herbaceousness extends to the palate, but mixed with citrus peel and earthy pine-sap. Light tannins. Serve just below room temperature.