Strekov 1075 'Fred X' NV
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Press 4 Red • October 2023 Direct Press Selection
Strekov 1075 is the winery of Zsolt Sütó, a former pumpkin seed farmer turned natural winemaker philosopher. He is located in the town of Strekov, in southwest Slovakia, where 90% of the population is of Hungarian descent, includig Zsolt. It's a region that is a crossroads of culture, changing hands politically from the Hungarians, Austrians, Ottomans, Czechoslovakians, Nazis, and Communists until their independence in 1989. In some ways it's not surprising so many have fought over this territory, with it's lush, rolling slopes and vineyards that are tempered by the Danube River and its surrounding marshlands.
Zsolt's philosophy is centered around the trust and faith that is needed to make wine without sulfur. “I had a barrel that was borderline flawed, I felt it coming," he says. I also knew that a tiny bit of SO2 would spare me the risk; but if I added it, I’d never know the eventual outcome – maybe the wine would manage to take care of itself. In the end, I think this search for truth is my ultimate fuel. No matter how unflattering or potentially painful, I think we should always seek the truth and face it.”
'Fred' is his basic table red, but it's much more than a basic wine. It's a snapshot of this warmer corner of Pannonia, a wine with soul and zero pretense. A non vintage blend of Alibernet (a cross between Alicante Henri Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon), Dunaj (cross of Blauer Potugieser and Sankt Laurent), and Portugieser, from 2021 and 2022. It's a juicy, grippy red with blueberry, violet, and peppercorns. Zsolt says the F in Fred stands for “friendly, fresh, but also f&%#ing good red." Jonathan Kemp