Our first trip to Sebestyén was a bit harrowing to say the least. Not because of anything they did, instead it was our unreliable GPS taking us down what I can only assume is either a drainage ditch or at best an ATV trail. Where it promptly deposited us at the wrong address, and we clearly interrupted someone’s shower. It was certainly a first for us, and a memory that always makes us laugh.
Once arriving at Sebestyén we were introduced to a true “garage winery,” literally it is a converted garage (Csaba Sebestyén is probably the best mechanic turned winemaker you will ever find). The winery itself might be small, but the aspirations of Csaba and his sister Csilla, who is instrumental in the direction of the winery, certainly are not. The two have been integral to the implementation of guidelines aimed at increasing not only the quality of the regions prized blend Bikavér, but of the entire Szekszárd region.
Mastering the intricacies of Szekszardi Bikavér is no easy feat. The region demands the blend be made up of at least 4 grapes of which 18 different varieties are allowed. The blend must contain a minimum of 45% Kékfrankos and 5% Kadarka and no more than 40% of the grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot can be used. Sebestyén’s Bikavér has quickly become a benchmark for the region. Choosing to eschew the use of new oak in order to concentrate on the natural nuances of the grapes helps give the wine an almost Burgundian feel, with pure fruit expressions and wonderful aromatics. This wine is crazy good and definitely worth seeking out, but don’t sleep on their Kadarka either. Easily one of our favorite red varietals out of Hungary and perfect for crushing on a patio in the summer.