One of the most renowned international wine experts awarded an outstanding score to one of the flagship wines from the Hungarian St Andrea Winery. Thanks to two decades of dedicated work by the small family cellar in Egerszalók, it has now become not only one of Hungary’s, but also one of the world’s most recognized wineries.
The Egerszalók vineyard’s top wine, the 2018 vintage Agapé Bikavér, received the highest-ever score for a Hungarian dry red wine, 98 points, as reported by the winery’s website.
James Suckling, one of the most renowned international wine critics, awarded it this exceptional rating, making Agapé 2018 the best dry red wine in Hungary,
according to the published score.
The vineyard’s Agapé is said to be ‘comparable to the world’s best red wines,’ according to the expert. The winery’s report mentions that they had to wait until the end of October for the scores, but it was worth the wait. This globally acclaimed Egerszalók vineyard has achieved remarkable results in the past as well.
Two years ago, their 2017 vintage Nagy-Eged Egri Bikavér wine received 97 points, placing it among the world’s top 50 wines at the Decanter World Wine Awards. That previous recognition had already provided a significant boost to Eger and Egri Bikavér.
‘It’s awe-inspiring that James Suckling himself personally visited us. The fact that we received such scores from him is truly astonishing. This feedback reaffirms our belief that Eger indeed has unique qualities, and we can confidently present this uniqueness to the world without any hesitation. The 98 points are absolutely remarkable. We’ve felt all along that the 2018 vintage is perhaps the best ever for St. Andrea, but from this vintage, Agapé has truly become the best wine of our lives that we could share with the world. We are very grateful!,’ president of the Pannon Wine Makers Guild, György Lőrincz Jr. summarized his feelings
An analysis by the Oeconomus Economic Research Foundation points out that
in Hungary, a significant portion of the country’s vineyards is concentrated in three regions.
In the past year, Bács-Kiskun, Heves, and Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén counties accounted for over 50 per cent of the total vineyard area in Hungary. The research mentions that, in the years following the regime change, the export of Hungarian wines experienced a significant decline, particularly in the 2000s.
However, in the last three to five years, there has been renewed hope as export numbers continue to improve. Hungarian wines are primarily exported to European Union countries, notably Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany. A significant quantity is also shipped to the United Kingdom, with 12.3 per cent of the total wine exports going there in 2021. Among countries outside of Europe, China and Japan purchase a substantial amount of Hungarian wine, and the USA and Canada also have shown a growing taste for Hungarian wine.