Hungarian Wines: Monarchia Matt International Sets World Benchmarks with Takler Szekszardi Bikaver 2002

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A first for Hungarian Wines. Monarchia Matt International (MMI) announces a major benchmark in the restoration of the high-quality Bikaver Reserve brand from Hungary. Within days of landing the wine in the States, MMI set a global price/quality standard with the 2002 Takler Szekszárdi Bikaver Reserve through the Company�s sales of the wine to premiere New York City and area restaurants and retail shops.

Prior to the Communist Era, Bikaver was considered throughout Europe to be a superior flagship of Hungarian red wines. The wine’s origins lend themselves both to Szekszárd and Eger appellations and these boundaries are specified by Hungarian appellation control laws. The first 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 Szekszárd have an extensive history filled with famous figures. Franz Schubert's 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.

Eger 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 troops. Lack of quality control during communist era produced inexpensive, lack-luster, inexpensive table wines for the masses which hit markets with the generic name Egri Bikaver. Legend or not, Bikaver’s fame resulted from the wine’s historic 500 year-old past, and based on current rapid developments in Hungarian wine production post 1989, could be instrumental to securing the country’s future as a leading producer of premier red wines.

Monarchia 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. His 2000 vintage was selected by DECANTER Magazine as a Top Fifty World Wine Value, the only wine from Hungary to place on the list. “I feel the 2002 surpasses the 2000 vintage in ripeness and complexity” commented Ferenc Takler when asked about the new vintage. The wine retails in the United States at $22, and is sold between $55-65 in restaurants. It will be rolled out by MMI in Austria and other EU markets beginning early 2005. Ferenc Takler produces wines in collaboration with his two sons, Ferenc Jr. and Andras.

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Monika Elling
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