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.
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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
Gunter Triebaumer 2018 Furmint (Burgenland)AustriaSmoke, apple, brightest lemon and linden flower notes combine into a nose ...See Full Review$18
Kovács Nimród 2014 Nagy Eged Grand Cru Furmint (Eger)HungaryThis Hungarian Furmint is golden straw colored with aromas of pear blossoms ...See Full Review$35
Heidi Schröck 2016 Furmint (Burgenland)AustriaA lovely, mossy, fresh note of yellow plum combines with a hint ...See Full Review$27
Barta 2015 Öreg Kiraly Dulo Mád Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryAromas of ripe pineapple, peach, honey comb and acacia flowers draw you ...See Full Review$39
Gróf Degenfeld 2016 Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryThis straw colored wine has aromas of pineapple, wet river rock, lemon ...See Full Review$20
Kvaszinger 2016 Estate Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryAromas of honeysuckle and jasmine carry the nose. The palate is bright ...See Full Review$23
Erzsébet Pince 2016 Estate Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryThis dry Furmint has delightful aromas of jasmine, apple blossom and gooseberry. ...See Full ReviewN/A
Majoros 2015 Dry (Tokaji)HungaryThis straw colored wine has aromas of guava and honeysuckle, with flavors ...See Full Review$22
Demetervin 2015 Tribal Tattoo Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryAromas of pineapple, peach and apricot blossom carry to the palate. The ...See Full ReviewN/A
Holdvölgy 2015 Hold and Hollo Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryThis straw colored Furmint has aromas of pineapple and apple blossom. On ...See Full Review$23
Slopes 2016 Dry Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryAromas of jasmine, honeysuckle and apple lead the way for flavors of ...See Full Review$18
Basilicus 2015 Master Valley Furmint (Tokaj)HungaryThis straw colored wine has aromas of guava, pineapple, jasmine and citrus ...See Full Review$29