IN CONNECTION WITH THE 2012 vintage, we recalled the history of Cuvée “seven” together with the Sauska team, sitting out on their Villány terrace in the spring sunshine. The first 7s from 2006 were bottled after two years. They were concentrated, heavy, Bordeaux style wines, partly owing to the vintage and also because all the cellar’s barrels were new at the time. The style has since been refined.
2012 BROUGHT LOTS OF EXCITEMENT AND CHALLENGES AS WELL: the February freeze, then the cool and windy May and an extended period of flowering. Then summer burst forth in a way we thought would never ease off. When it eventually did, it came with hail. The harvest came early, the ripening of several varieties collided and one had to act swiftly in the vineyards. The Sauskas managed to do so and it turned out to be an exceptional year.
THE CONCEPT OF CUVÉE 7 was from the very beginning to define the Siklós and Villány character. On the high-lying, windy Siklós vineyards (the Makár and the Zuhánya), it is Merlot which feels at home – today, the wine with the blue capsule is built on this variety. It shows balance and restrained elegance. The Villány vineyards (Konkoly, Kopár, Ördögárok) are protected from the north; they are hot and hence ideal for the Cabernet varieties. These provide the basis for the cuvées with the brown capsules, in which the power of Villány is revealed.
ABOUT THE VINTAGES
“A winery looks to three different directions: forwards, backwards and in the meantime, it’s involved in the work or harvest of the given year. It’s made especially interesting by the fact, that experience at this stage is embodied by one single vintage.”
– László Latorczai
“In the first two years, we tried to get the maximum out of the grapes to see what they’re capable of with strict yield control. Then an earlier harvest date and fewer barrels followed, as we started to see Siklós, Villány and the constellation of the three varieties clearer.”
“After a promising start, two heavy hailstorms controlled the yield in Villány and one did the same in Siklós. It’s only because of the long, warm days in September and October and the extended date of the harvest that it could eventually become a big vintage.”
“During the first years, we of course said: Villány and Siklós. By 2011, we reached the point when we had enough experience: Villány is Sauvignon and Franc, Siklós is Merlot and Franc.”
– Krisztián Sauska
“There is a point, even in Villány, when sunshine and warmth gets too much. Earlier, in such years this meant dense, overripe, tiring, mega-alcoholic wines. That’s what we are fighting against with all our power.”