to the Communist Era, Bikaver was considered throughout Europe
to be a superior flagship of Hungarian red wines. Crafted from
grapes grown in both the Szekszárd and Eger appellations,
the classic red has been the muse of poetry and music for centuries.
written mention of Bikaver was in a poem by Janos Garai in 1846,
describing Szekszard as the home of the evocative wine. The stunning, rich red wines
of Szekszard have an extensive history filled with famous
favorite wine came from the ancient local grape Kadarka, "The
Nectar of Szekszárd," which led to his composition
of the Trout Quintet. Another famous devotee of Szekszárd
wines was Franz Liszt. The Szekszárd Mass was
composed in honor of the region, and Liszt also sent Pope Pius
IX Szekszárd red wine as a personal gift.
has its own historical interpretation of the wine's history.
Legend has it that during the siege of the Eger fortress in
the mid 1500's, Hungarian soldiers fortified themselves
with Bikaver found in the catacombs of the castle. Enabled with
what appeared to be super-human strength, they were able to
hold off the Turkish invaders that greatly outnumbered the Hungarian
not, lack of quality control during the communist era produced
inexpensive, lack-luster, inexpensive table wines for the masses
which hit markets with the generic name Egri Bikaver. Those
who came in search of the fabled wines of Szekszárd were
often disappointed and the reputation of the wine began to dim.
Bikaver's fame resulted from the wine's historic 500
However, post-communist era vintners were quick to return
the legendary red to its former glory. Based on the current
rapid developments in Hungarian wine production post 1989, new
legends are in the making that could be instrumental to securing
the country's future as a leading producer of premier red
Matt International, led by Takler's Bikaver Reserve
wine from Szekszárd, is restoring the image and name
of this historical brand.
Bikaver always was and will continue
to be a blend of three or more approved varietals.
In the case
of the Takler Szekszárdi Bikaver Reserve 2002, these
include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Kadarka
and Kekfrankos. The
2000 vintage was selected by DECANTER Magazine as a Top Fifty
World Wine Value, the only wine from Hungary to place on the
of Eastern Europe now joining the EU with all the economic benefits
and boon to tourism
and travel throughout Hungary, watch for Bikaver as well
as other wine regions throughout Hungary to return to their
glory days as one of Europe's premier winde producers.