Natural wine guru Zsolt Sütó is a passionate and radical adherent to serious naturalism in the vineyard and the cellar. He works with virtually unknown varieties, farms them according to biodynamic principles, and makes his wines with zero additions or subtractions. His wines are some of the closest examples of completely natural wines that we’ve come across. More importantly, they are wildly delicious and unapologetically funky elixirs that push the envelope of what we expect in a glass of wine.
Zsolt’s most important red wine, Fred #3 represents a field blend of Alibernet and Dunaj. Alibernet is an unknown cross between Alicante Bouschet (aka Garnacha Tintorera as in our Envínate selection) and Cabernet Sauvignon. Dunaj, on the other hand, is a cross between Blauer Portugieser and Sankt Laurent. Like nearly all of Zsolt’s wines, the vines are quite young as he himself recently replanted nearly all of his vineyards with superior plant material. The resulting wine is fermented spontaneously in open-topped vats and subsequently aged in large barrels for 3 months before being bottled without any addition of sulfur. Though it’s bottled under a crown cap it is indeed still (save for some residual carbon dioxide) with seriously zippy fruit, earthy funk, and a hint of wildness. It should be drunk relatively cool, with charcuterie if you've got it.
"Zsolt Sütó cultivates 12 hectares of vines in the village of Strekov, in Slovakia. The vineyards are located on the terraces of Pohronska pahorkatina, featuring ponds and marshland that creates a unique microclimate. The top layer of soil consists of clay-loam, which lays above the marine sediments, sandstone and limestone veins. Deeper soil layers consist of yellow and blue-gray clay. Zsolt’s fermentations take place in open topped barrels with no sulfur and no intervention, he also uses a lot of skin maceration, aging under voile to create naturally strong and stable wines. As of the 2017 vintage. Zsolt was very happy to vinify and bottle all of his wines with zero additions of sulfur." - Jenny & Francois