The pan-Pannonian collaborations of Moric maverick Roland Velich
Roland Velich of Moric – the man behind the world’s finest Blaufränkisch – has an eye for talent. For years now he’s been bringing the sharpest talent of Austria’s Burgenland and neighbouring Hungary into the fold. As friend and mentor, he’s turned some of these into some boundary-pushing wines under his Hidden Treasures banner. The name comes from the fact that both the winemakers in question, and the terroirs they’re highlighting, are hardly famous and yet have almost limitless potential and intensely localised character.
For the first time we’ve just shipped the No.6 wine, a collaboration with CellarHand stablemate Hannes Schuster – a Blaufränkisch from the village of Sankt Margarethen.
Hidden Treasures No. 1 is brought to you by Roland and Attila Homonna from the famed Tokaj region. It’s 100% Furmint from a steep site. The wines are raised in a mixture of old cask and stainless steel. It has aromas of honey and beeswax, pollen and rosy apples. The palate moves into a sweet lime and white stone fruit zone, leaving a sense of honeysuckle nectar on the finish.Ed Merrison, CellarHand
Hidden Treasure No. 2 is brought to you by Roland and Tamas Kis from Somlo. It’s a dry white wine made from the trio of grapes Hárslevelü, Furmint and Welschriesling. Roland says it’s “classic Somlo” though I suppose not many of us are that familiar with the concept. Anyway the nose and palate are not so much driven by fruit and flowers so much as by spice and savoury tones. Honey, spice and orchard fruits have a saline edge and an intriguing finish reminiscent of mead.Ed Merrison, CellarHand
Hidden Treasure No. 3 is brought to you by Roland and Villa Tolnay of Balaton and is a blend of Riesling and Furmint. It’s grown on the volcanic hills around Lake Balaton, which feature basalt at the top of the slope and limestone lower down.Ed Merrison, CellarHand
Hidden Treasure No.6 sees Roland Velich collaborate with his good friend and CellarHand stablemate Hannes Schuster, shining a light on Blaufränkisch from Schuster’s home village of Sankt Margarethen on the western side of Lake Neusiedl. The cuvée originates from the Hinkenthal and Hartmisch vineyards, both locations with an east-south-east orientation. The old vines of 45 and 51 years of age grow on soils combining limestone and sandstone, supplemented by loamy sand with gravel from quartz, slate and gneiss.Ed Merrison, CellarHand