Tokaji Aszu

January 2, 2010

I’ve started a blog once before – that time with much more fanfare – this time around I’m skipping the preamble.

Its the first day of the ‘odds’ and I’m drinking a 1993 Tokaji Aszu 5  Puttonyos Hilltop Neszmely. A sweet Hungarian wine.

My tasting notes:

“Sweet hazelnuts on the nose with molasses and treacle. Beautiful golden caramel color. Intensely sweet, but with good acidity so it stays nicely balanced, and even fresh at times. Warm, rich caramel flavors, butterscotch and red apple notes. There’s a nice tartness in the mid palate and a real nutty flavor with diesel oils. Very nice.”

These wines are world class, and I hear that this is a good vintage. They are, however, not well known outside of wine circles. Tokaji Aszu is the place/type of wine – Tokaj is the region and Aszu, which means dried, has come to refer to any botrytised wine from the region. The other key term is the sweetness, which is demoted by the number of Puttonyos (aka baskets). A puttonyos is a 25kg basket used to hold the grapes as they are harvested. The more puttonyos that are added to a barrel of dry wine, the sweeter the final wine will be. Typically these wines range from three to six puttonyos. A wine made from the puttonyos grapes alone is called Essencia – I have never tried this, but I’m sure it tastes like liquid sugar. There’s a ’95 Essencia available on Snooth here.

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January 2, 2010

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