Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Beware of pity

Rulanske Modre variety
On a recent trip to Prague we naturally took the opportunity to look at Czech wines. In preparation we had researched the varieties grown in the Czech Republic (mostly in Moravia) and found that there is a surprising number of locally produced hybrids. Quite why this should be so is not clear as vinifera varieties such as those grown in Austria seem also to grow in the Czech Republic but resistance to frost and fungus diseases seems to be desirable;

For the record, the list is as follows;

Agni ( Andre x Irsai Oliver)
Andre was nothing to write home about in our 'North' tasting

Andre (Blaufraenkisch x St. Laurent)
Ariana (Riesling x St. Laurent) x Zweigelt
Aurelius (Neuburger x Riesling)

Cabernet Moravia (Cabernet Franc x Zweigelt)
Devin (Gewurtztraminer x Roter Veltiner)
Lena (Lipovina x Irsai Oliver)
Laurot (Merlot x Seibel 13666) x (Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent)
Malverina (Rakisch x Merlan)

Moravian Muscat (Ottonel x Splendor)
Neronet (St Laurent x Blauer Portugieser) x (Alicante Bouschet x Cabernet Sauvignon)

Palava is considered locally as one of the best hybrids

Palava (Gewurztraminer x Muller-Thurgau)
Revolta (Malingre x Chrupka Bila) x (Corinth Cabanská x Perla Rosa)
Rubinet (Revolta x Alibernet) x André)
Veritas (Red Riesling x Bouvier)
Vrboska (Red Traminer x Cabanská Perla (Pearl of Csaba)

Not all of these are originally Czech and some have only reached the experimental stage but you can see there is plenty of activity in the creation of hybrids. In fact such is the enthusiasm for hybrids in general, you could call the Czech republic a hybrid hotspot. Amazingly we found these too:

our old friend Solaris, now ubiquitous it seems
a hybrid from Geisenheim
Old friend Kerner, quite low in alcohol here (12.5%)
Another Geisenheim variety now more frequent in the Czech Republic than in Germany
A Hungarian hybrid, unknown to 'Wine Grapes'
Not to be outdone by their neighbour, here is a list of Slovak hybrids;



Looking around shops in Prague, mainly at a large shop called My Narodni Obchodni domy Tesco, we soon came to work out the main vinifera varieties;

Frankovka = Blaufraenkisch

Modry Portugal = Blauer Portugieser
Neuburske = Neuburger
Rulandske Sede = Pinot Gris
Ryzlink Rynsky = Rhine Riesling
Ryzlink Vlassky = Weslschriesling
Sylvanske Zelene = Silvaner

Svatovavrinecke = St. Laurent (a bit more difficult this one but data roaming came to the rescue)

Tramin Cerveny = Gewurztraminer
Veltlínské červené rané = Fruehroter Veltliner
Veltlinske Zelene = Gruener Veltliner

Relatively simple really, but then there was something rather intriguing called Rulandske Modry. Thanks to Portugal Modry we had worked out that Modry means Blue but what could Rulandske Modry be? Pinot Gris is often called Rulander in Germany due to a historical person called Johann Seger Ruland who discovered Pinot Gris vines in a garden in Speyer in the mid - 18th century and popularised them. We fancied this must be a new variety what with all the crosses and hybrids going on; Blue Pinot Gris! We knew that Pinot Gris could have a variety of berry colours so why not?

Due to various circumstances we were not able to buy any wine on this trip so it was with great satisfaction that a cafe near our hotel was selling Rulandske Modry by the glass. One sip sparked joy as they say. Here was a discovery indeed. Reminiscent of something quite familiar we thought, but what? Our palate memory is poor to non-existant as we have said but Rulanske Modry was something new and exceptional. How exciting to make such a discovery! That's what we at Slotovino are all about; digging up hidden gems, supporting the under-dog.

Beware of pity: Rulandske Modry = Pinot Noir! 

What's more, Rulandske bile = Pinot Blanc.

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