Grand Vin de Barnag Dzsuz
Origin: Balaton, Hungary
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Dzsuz (pronounced just as you would pronounce juice in English) is a Cabernet France unlike any other. Tasting more Pinot Noir-esque, Dzsuz is the perfect light-drinker, with enough structure to provide ample intrigue.
Young and talented winemaker Bence Szilágyi is headquartered in Barnag, a sleepy town next to Lake Balaton, the biggest lake in Central Europe. Bence may have studied winemaking in Germany and Hungary, but Grand Vin de Barnag was only ever intended to be a side project for him. Bence produced the inaugural vintage of Grand Vin de Barnag, a play on the name of the more renowned Grand Vin de Bordeaux from France, in 2017. Bence grows 50% of the fruit he uses in his wines himself using rented vines, and he purchases the remaining 50% from a negociant farmer, whom he considers to be extremely lucky to work with. Bence creates his wines in a cellar that is carved into the limestone bedrock and is located beneath his home. As a result, fermentations go very slowly and typically only finish in the following spring. For Bence, this is a crucial aspect since, in his opinion, it is essential to the growth of structure and aromatics. He always ferments and ages his wines in old oak barrels (he employs a blend of French, Austrian, and Hungarian oak), and the 2020 vintage was the first one without sulphur additions. Today, about 10,000 bottles are produced annually.