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Royal Tokaji Aszu Essencia (500ML) 1995

Other Dessert from Hungary
  • RP94
  • WS94
  • WE92
    8% ABV
    All Vintages
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      8% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      Tokaji Essencia (Essence) is the most fabled and rarest of all. Essencia is the first run juice of the Aszú grapes, which seeps from the press under the grapes own weight. The sugar content is extremely high, and the wine will ferment at an extremely slow rate, often over many years. Normally Essence will be used as a blending wine, although under exceptional circumstances, the best wine from the best grapes in a top vintage, will be released in its own right. These wines, will keep for many years (as will most Tokaji), and often command very high prices. Its legendary restorative properties are widely documented in Hungarian folk lore.

      Critical Acclaim

      All Vintages
      RP 94
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      Deep amber colour. Candied fruits, aniseed and orange peel. Very lifted and fragrant. A feisty palate with apricot and peach. Lacks a little cohesion at the moment but it is very complex and engaging, a lovely transparency about it. Excellent, but wait a few years. Range: 92-94
      WS 94
      Wine Spectator
      Thick and dense yet never heavy, with aromas that flit from floral and vegetal to caramel and smoke and back again. There's noticeable sweetness matched by a brisk acidity that need time to integrate. Fine, lingering finish. Seems monolithic today, so be patient.
      WE 92
      Wine Enthusiast
      The sweetest Aszú wine, with 217 grams per liter of sugar (only pure Essencia is sweeter). Honeyed nuts, brown sugar, orange blossom and chocolate aromas waft from the glass. Full and viscous in the mouth, this balanced wine, with a modest 8.5% alcohol, has beautiful flavors of toffee, caramel and orange tea. Finishes long and complex. Imported by Wilson Daniels Ltd.
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      Royal Tokaji

      Royal Tokaji Wine Company

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      Royal Tokaji Wine Company, Hungary
      Image of winery
      The first Tokaji Aszú (toh-KAY ah-SOO) wine was created in the 1600s, perhaps by accident - a harvest delayed by threat of enemy invasion. In 1700, Tokaj became the first European region to have its vineyards classified, its uniquely varied terroirs and climates rated Primae Classis, Secundae Classis, Tertius Classis ("1st Growth, 2nd Growth, 3rd Growth") by Prince Rakoczi of Transylvania. This classification system is still used in Hungary today. Louis XIV of France (1638 - 1715) declared Tokaji "the wine of Kings and the King of wines", while in the 18th century, Catherine the Great stationed soldiers in Tokaj to protect her vineyards.

      Quality production ended with World Wars I and II and the Communist takeover of Hungarian winemaking. Aszú grapes were used for mass production in factories, with vineyard distinctions lost in giant tanks. Tokaji's renaissance began after the collapse of communism with the Royal Tokaji Wine Company (RTWC) in 1989, inspired by well-known wine author, Hugh Johnson, and others. RTWC's founders started the winery in an effort to preserve what they considered a dying art. "I couldn't resist bringing back to life a wine that had been so renowned centuries ago," says Johnson.

      Best known for lusciously sweet dessert wines but also home to distinctive dry whites and reds, Hungary is an exciting country at the crossroads of tradition and innovation. Mostly flat with a continental climate, Hungary is almost perfectly bisected by the Danube River (known here as the Duna), and contains central Europe’s largest lake, Balaton. Soil types vary throughout the country but some of the best vines, particularly in Tokaj, are planted on mineral-rich, volcanic soil.

      Tokaj, Hungary’s most famous wine region, is home to the venerated botrytized sweet wine, Tokaji, produced from a blend of Furmint and Hárslevelű. Dry and semi-dry wines are also made in Tokaj, using the same varieties. Other native white varieties include the relatively aromatic and floral, Irsai Olivér, Cserszegi Fűszeres and Királyleányka, as well as the distinctively smoky and savory, Juhfark. Common red varieties include velvety, Pinot Noir-like Kadarka and juicy, easy-drinking Kékfrankos (known elsewhere as Blaufränkisch).

      Other Dessert

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      Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.

      Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.

      Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.

      Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.

      KOE167348_1995 Item# 167348