The first stop of my three day long wine trip with friends. We started in Tokaj the wine region that produces one of worlds best sweet wines.
Tokaj Classic was founded by three musicians, they wanted to make good quality wine that would inspire them to make more music. They came to the unanimous conclusions that Tokaj was a diamond in the rough just waiting to be polished. The estate was build in the beginning of the 20th century and was owned by a Jewish family which were butchers. The big cellar was created here, the butchers had to keep their meat fresh so they made a cellar and stored it there. The estate was sold in 1985 and was later sold again to the current owners of Tokaj Classic.
The vineyards were bought in 1994 and the last one was bought in 2010, Tokaj Classic owns around 7 hectares of land. They focus mainly on the noble sweet wines like 3,4,5 and 6 puttonyos aszú, szamarodni and late harvest which the region is famous for. Roughly 5% of their production are dry wine, and this is not made every year either.
We started with a walk in the cellar and had two barrel samples there. I did not take notes of these wines but I can tell you that the Furmint (first picture) was truly amazing and more ready then the Muskotály was. After that we went up into the tasting room, see the slideshow at the end of the article for some atmosphere pictures.
- Tokaji Furmint Dry 2012 : The wine went through stainless steel fermentation and was fermented in oak barrels for 5 months.
The nose is clean and has a medium intensive nose, I found some limestone, petrol and toast which came from the barrel fermentation.
On the tongue the wine was very buttery, soft and creamy with a bit higher alcohol. A great wine and already a bit older, had complexity as well.
My score : 91 points
- Tokaji classic cuvée (Late Harvest) 2007 : Made out of 75% Furmint, 20% Hárslevelű and 5% Sarga Muskotály. This wine has 94 grams of sugar per liter, so in this bottle there was 47 grams.
Very pleasant, clean and medium intensive nose with honey and minerals.
The flavor was medium+ intensive and clean. A lot of honey and hints of ”wild” in it. Bit of an acidity after taste.
I will write a separate article about this wine as I bought a bottle.
My score : 93
- Tokaji Aszú 3 Puttonyos 2008 : The quantity of each grape was not mentioned and neither did I ask (or I forgot to ask ! )Typical 3 puttonyos nose, clean and medium + intensive. I detected green tea with honey and light apricots.
The flavor was intensive and the acidity was a bit higher then expected, although all of the 2008 aszús I drank were higher in acidity. flavors were honeyed apricots.
My score : 91
- Tokaji Aszú 5 puttonyos 2010 : Same as above I did not hear or forgot to ask the quantity of grapes. However 2010 was a very hard year with lots of rains. They only had 1/3 of their total yield. In this wine there is already 164 grams of sugar per liter.
The nose was medium intensive and clean, had a creamy and buttery smell with a lot of minerality.
The alcohol was very low (8%) and was a bit off balance with the higher sugar content and acidity ( 10,1 grams per liter). Was a bit vibrant and loads of apricot.
My score : 90
- Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos 1999 : This was an excellent year, the wine was very complex but still has a lot of fruitiness despite it being 17 years old ! This wine has 180 grams of sugar per liter.
Intensive but clean nose, with honey, apricots, raisins and dried fruits.
Intensive and clean taste, well balanced sugar, alcohol and acidity. Aged and dried fruits and apricot jam in the flavor with a very long finish.
My score : 95
What is not mentioned here is the 2013 Szamorodni which will get his own article later on. We also had some Tokaji Natúr Essencia as a finisher. I don’t have any pictures but this is the creme de la creme of sweet wines. Essencia is made by the grapes pressing themselves without any help and cause of the weight it produces a juice which is called Essencia, this is why the yield is very low and expensive. The sugar content is usually extremely high (200 grams per liter +) and the alcohol is always low (1-3% max).
Tokaj Classic has been around for a very long time and is probably one of wineries that made Aszú famous outside Hungary. I will write a more detailed article about the winery later this year. If you are interested in visiting them than simply send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, they speak English very well and be patient because the owners do not always have internet when they are abroad.
Below you will find a small slide show of pictures I’ve took during the visit, I hope you will enjoy them. As always if you have any questions just message me on social media or comment below.
Thursday I will publish a short article about a barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc from Hungary followed by a bigger article on Friday about a winery in Eger called Besenyei.