Jasz Laci's Succulent Skin Contact Olaszrizling Exudes Volcanic Terroir
The grapevines planted around Hungary’s Lake Balaton dig deep into black, volcanic soils, and the wines that come from this unique place express their unique terroir with flavors of salt and smoke. The nearby Somló hill is an extinct volcano, and it’s the rare wine region where only white grapes are grown.
Wine has been made here since the Roman era (the Romans especially prized wines from what they called ‘Lacus Pelsodis’), and today, it’s home to some of Hungary’s most dynamic winemakers. Today’s story involves a skin-contact wine from the talented Jasz Laci (pronounced ‘Yass Lotsi”) made from the grape Olaszrizling.
We were blown away by how complete the wine felt — it showed a perfect balance between fruit and minerality, freshness and concentration, fine but evident tannins and silkiness on the palate. We buy and sell a lot of orange wine, but truth be told, we’re not necessarily drinking it at home every night. But Sagi Narancs? Now, that’s a bottle we can imagine savoring over the course of an evening or a few days, tasting it evolve.
Jazz has been making wine since 2013, at a winery whose name translates to ‘The Big Mustached Jász Laci’s Winery’ (he does indeed have an impressive mustache); while studying viticulture and enology, he focused on Georgian winemaking techniques, which clearly influences today’s wine.
Its flavors of tangerine, apricots, wildflowers and tea make it easy to like, and while there are some tannins present, they’re surprisingly soft and easygoing. It turns out that a long maceration — which draw out a lot of tannins — actually yields softer, gentler wines, because those tannins bind together and form chains so big they can’t be perceived. Sagi Narancs is left on its skins for a whopping 3 months.
Since you’re reading this blog, we’re going to assume you enjoy mineral-driven wines with a distinct sense of place, and if that’s true, we think you’re going to love Jasz’s Sagi Narancs. It’s got enough depth to pair with many (many, many) dishes, from curry to grilled cheese to poultry or pork, but it’s also a delight on its own. Whether you love orange wines or just want to dip your toe in, this is what you want to be drinking:
Jasz Laci, Orange Olaszrizling 'Sagi Narancs', 2021 $28.99
This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.