x
  • Country ranking ?

    27
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    -
  • When to drink

    Now

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The Story

There is much evidence that the wine appealed to English connoisseurs in the 18th and early 19th centuries. (Christie’s archives reveal that Tokaji appeared in a catalogue dated 1770, only 4 years after James Christie set up his auction business). Another appreciative connoisseur was Thomas Jefferson who imported and served ‘rich Tokaji’ (‘for which I paid a guinea a bottle’) at his presidential banquets in the early 1800’s. The aftermath of WWI was disastrous for the Hungarian landowners and trade. In 1925 a remarkable cache of old wines was literally unearthed and purchased by Berry Bros. Their 1927  price list  includes early 19th century vintages ‘from the princely house of Bretzenheim which became extinct in 1863’. It seems that the family, concerned that the revolutionary forces of 1848 would seize their property, walled up their valuable old wines.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Amber and Cloudy

ending

Extensive and Flavorful

flavors

Bread, Toasty and Honey

nose

Unclean, Opulent, Refined and Mature

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Low alcohol content, Low tannin, Perfectly balanced, Balanced, Concentrated, Medium-bodied, Sharp, Round, Rich, Vigor and Medium-Sweet

Written Notes

In 1703, Francis Rákóczi II, Prince of Transylvania, gave King Louis XIV of France some Tokaji wine from his Tokaj estate as a gift. The Tokaji wine was served at the French Royal court at Versailles, where it became known as Tokay. Delighted with the precious beverage, Louis XV of France offered a glass of Tokaji to Madame de Pompadour, referring to it as "Vinum Regum, Rex Vinorum"[3] ("Wine of Kings, King of Wines"). This famous line is used to this day in the marketing of Tokaji wines. Emperor Franz Josef (who was also King of Hungary) had a tradition of sending Queen Victoria Tokaji Aszú wine, as a gift, every year on her birthday, one bottle for every month she had lived, twelve for each year. On her eighty-first and final birthday (1900), this totaled an impressive 972 bottles. Tokaji wine has received accolades from numerous great writers and composers including[3] Beethoven, Liszt, Schubert, Goethe, Heinrich Heine,[3] Friedrich von Schiller,[3] Bram Stoker,[3] Johann Strauß,[3] and Voltaire.[3] The composer Joseph Haydn's favorite wine was Tokaji. Besides Louis XIV, several other European monarchs are known to have been keen consumers of the wine. Louis XV and Frederick the Great tried to outdo one another when they treated guests such as Voltaire with Tokaji. Napoleon III, the last Emperor of the French, ordered 30–40 barrels of Tokaji at the French Royal Court every year. Pope Pius IV. (1499–1565) at the Council of Trient in 1562, exclaimed: Summum pontiloveficem talia vina decent! (This is the type of wine that should be on the papal table). Gustav III, King of Sweden, loved Tokaji - it has been said he never had any other wine to drink. In Russia, customers included Peter the Great and Empress Elizabeth of Russia.[3] A newspaper account of the 1933 wedding of Polish president Ignacy Mościcki notes that toasts were made with 250-year-old wines, and goes on to say "The wine, if good, could only have been Essence of Tokay, and the centuries-old friendship between Poland and Hungary would seem to support this conclusion."[citation needed] It was consumed by Adolf Hitler, his bride Eva Braun and others celebrating their marriage in the bunker shortly before their deaths.
  • 89p
Moderately deep, yellow brown colour. Intense, rich, dried apricot nose with chocolate, hazelnuts and burnt sugar. Fullbodied, crisp acidity, fleshy, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, burnt sugar, apricot marmelade, bitter botrytis finish.
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Tokaji-Hegyalja

Highlights

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