Best known for its role in producing Tokaji Aszú, a sweet Hungarian wine but Furmint is also used to produce dry white wines and even sparkling wines.
Dry Furmint can be fantastic. It produces strong almost fierce white wines with flavours of apricot, mango, green apple and almonds. The alcohol can be high adding to the full structure of the wine.
Furmint is perfect for producing sweet wine as it is very susceptible to botrytis cinerea. This is a fungus that produces noble rot which concentrates the sugar, flavours and acid in the grapes. The naturally high acid levels of Furmint brilliantly balance this sweetness. This concentration of flavour and structure gives a long ageing potential. Good sweet Tokaji can age for ten years plus. To produce Tokaji, Furmint is typically blended with Harslevelü and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. Typical flavours of Tokaji are honey, marmalade, apricots and even some more tropical fruit flavours.
The main area for Furmint is Tokaj in the North-East of Hungary. This area produces both dry and sweet wines. Furmint is also permitted and commonly used in Egri Csillag
Outstanding dry wines from Furmint are produced in Slovenia. Here it is called Šipon. The dry wines can be barrel fermented and aged.
This is a very traditional grape in Croatia called Moslavac.
In Austria and Germany Furmint is called Mosler.
Furmint is also grown in Slovakia, Romania and strangely enough in South Africa.