Furmint is a white grape best known in the Tokaj region of Hungary. It can also be found in other parts of the country and beyond, including Slovenia, Croatia (under the name Šipon), Austria and South Africa. The Furmint grape is best known for the decadently sweet Tokaji dessert wine, though it also produces excellent dry white wines in that region and elsewhere.
The flavor profile of Furmint can vary according to the style of wine, though there are some distinguishing characteristics. Furmint wines tend to be high in acidity, as well as highly concentrated in both flavor and aroma. Young Furmints tend to show aromas of apples and flowers, which over time give way to mature notes of nuts and honey. The alcohol content in Furmint wines can be high by white wine standards, easily reaching 14% alcohol by volume.
The grape is highly susceptible to botrytis, the so-called “noble rot” responsible for the great dessert wines of Tokaji (and Sauternes in Bordeaux, France, though the grape varieties used there are different). Sweet Tokaji is produced in a range of sweetness levels, indicated by Puttonyos, a unit of measure for the level of residual sugar in the wine. The Puttonyos level traditionally referred to the number of tubs, called puttonyos or hods, of aszú (Hungarian for dried) berries—meaning those infected with botrytis—that were added to each barrel of the base wine that’s made from unbotrytized grapes. Puttonyos are measured on a scale of one to six; the more puttonyos, the sweeter, richer and rarer the Tokaji.
Tokaji Aszú wines are very high in acidity, striking a delicate and refreshing balance with their high sugar content. Sweet Tokaji tends to have a deep amber color and high concentration of aromas and flavors including marmalade, apricot and honey. While Furmint is the most important grape here, these wines may also contain Hárslevelű—another grape variety that is conveniently prone to botrytis—and Sárga Muscotály, better known as Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains.
Beyond Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos is Tokaji Eszencia, one of the most exclusive and expensive wines in the world, although it technically doesn’t even qualify to be called a wine since it is so sweet—between 500–700g/L residual sugar—it rarely ferments to above 5–6% abv. Unlike most wine, Eszencia is known to be able to cellar for lifetimes, for hundreds of years, even.
Dry Tokaji wines can also be blends or single varietals, and Tokaji Furmint is the most common single varietal. Styles can vary from light and simple to concentrated and age-worthy. Simpler styles tend to be unoaked, fresh, fruity and are intended to be consumed young. Premium examples of Tokaji Furmint may have been fermented or aged in new oak, leading to higher ageing potential and more complex aromas and flavors.
Scroll down to view Wine Enthusiast’s online Buying Guide, from which you can find the top-rated Furmint among our extensive wine reviews and collection of related articles.
Samuel Tinon 2018 Birtok Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryThis dry Hungarian Furmint is straw colored in the glass with aromas ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$24
Tokaj-Hétszőlő 2019 Dry (Tokaji)HungaryThis straw colored Hungarian dry Tokaj is straw colored with aromas of ...See Full Review$21
Pajzos 2019 T Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryStraw colored in the glass, this dry Hungarian Furmint has aromas of ...Best BuySee Full Review$13
Disznókö 2007 Eszencia (Tokaji)HungaryMahogany colored in the glass, this Eszencia draws you in with ethereal ...Cellar SelectionSee Full Review$500
Disznókö 2015 Kapi Vineyard Aszú 6 Puttunyos (Tokaji)HungaryThis gold-flecked, amber-colored Hungarian sweet wine is made from 100% Furmint grapes ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$160
Disznókö 2005 Aszú Eszencia (Tokaji)HungaryAromas of citrus blossom, dried apricot and fresh fig transfer to the ...See Full Review$120
Disznókö 2019 Dry (Tokaji)HungaryThis Hungarian dry Furmint has aromas of gooseberry, honeysuckle and cantaloupe. In ...See Full Review$20
Gunter Triebaumer 2019 Geyerumriss Furmint (Burgenland)AustriaA very shy nose does not give much away beyond some yeastiness ...See Full Review$45
Heidi Schröck 2018 Spätlese Furmint (Burgenland)AustriaSmoky, ripe apple flesh with an aura of fresh, wet clay makes ...See Full Review$28
Gunter Triebaumer 2019 Furmint (Burgenland)AustriaAn aromatic note of herbal tisane evokes hints of lindenflower and dried ...See Full Review$18
Royal Tokaji 2017 Duloválogatás Vineyard Selection (Tokaji)HungaryThis white carries aromas of flint, yellow peach and apple blossom. It ...See Full Review$27
Royal Tokaji 2018 The Oddity Dry (Tokaji)HungaryAromas of apricot, white peach and flint entice your nose, while flavors ...See Full Review$17
Lenkey Pincészet 2007 Vilmány Mád Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryAmber-colored in the glass this Hungarian Furmint has a nice touch of ...See Full Review$20
Lenkey Pincészet 2000 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryAmber colored in the glass, this delicious sweet wine has aromas of ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$100
Árvay 2016 Késoi (Tokaji)HungaryThis sweet Furmint is golden colored in the glass and has aromas ...See Full Review$40
Royal Tokaji 2016 The Oddity Dry (Tokaji)HungaryThis 100% Hungarian dry Furmint has aromas of white flowers, peach and ...See Full Review$17
Pálffy 2016 Méthode Traditionnelle Pezsgö Brut Furmint (Balaton)HungaryThis sparkling Furmint has good perlage and a nice mousse. It is ...See Full Review$40
Oremus 2017 Mandolas Dry (Tokaji)HungaryStraw colored in the glass with green reflections, this Hungarian dry Furmint ...See Full Review$30
Carpinus 2017 TokajiHungaryStraw colored in the glass, this Hungarian Furmint has aromas of peach, ...See Full Review$16
Préselö 2017 Tokaji Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryThis straw-colored Hungarian Furmint has aromas of flint, wet river rock, jasmine ...See Full Review$16