The Royal Tokaji Wine Company, founded in Hungary in 1990, has become one of the most defining wineries in Tokaj, becoming the first producer to revive the practice of making Single Vineyard Aszú wines.
Today they have announced the release of just 11,463 bottles of 2013 Single Vineyard Aszú wines from their trilogy of first growth vineyards: Betsek, Nyulászó and Szt Tamás. They believe that no vintage so far this century has delivered such perfectly balanced Aszú wines.
2013 is only the fourth vintage since the millennium in which they have been able to make all three of these single vineyard wines. Not a single bottle was made between 2008 and 2013.
The winter of 2013 was mild but at the end of March they experienced 10-12 cms of snow just before Easter. Many fruit orchards and some vineyards, such as Mézes Mály, were hit by frosts, but the higher vineyards escaped. By the end of June the vineyards had received two-thirds of the average annual rainfall, affecting the setting but fortunately didn't dramatically reduce the size of the harvest. After veraison the weather was miraculous with perfect conditions for the development of Aszú; misty mornings, warm drying winds blowing across The Great Plain of Hungary and sweeping the mists up into the vineyards.
Each Aszú berry is picked by hand selecting only the highest quality berries, with perfect botrytis. Each picker only brings in between 5 to 10kgs of berries a day. Aszú berries from each parcel were macerated in fermenting must for two days. After pressing and fermentation the wines had a perfect balance and were transferred into 300 litre second and third fill Hungarian oak casks for at least two years maturation in Royal Tokaji's deep underground cellars, prior to final selection and bottling.
Betsek 2013, 6 puttonyos Aszú 1st growth 11%vol Sugar: 182.8g/l Acidity:8.7g/l
Situated in the heart of the Mád basin, the 15 hectare vineyard is mostly planted with 20 to 40 year old Hárslevelű vines in dark Nyirok clay with volcanic topsoil, which yields spicy/peppery wines.
Tasting Note: The nose is attractive with hints of honey, apricot and white pepper. Vibrant citrusy palate with spicy notes on the long finish.
Nyulászó 2013, 6 puttonyos Aszú 1st growth 11%vol Sugar:172.2g/l Acidity: 7.8g/l
Nyulászó means "to catch hares" in Hungarian. Royal's 19 hectare south facing vineyard just outside Mád is planted with Furmint and Hárslevelű in brownish-red Nyirok clay.
Tasting Note: This wine exudes ethereal elegance and finesse with acacia honey and apricots on the nose. Lively acidity provides backbone and balance with intense richness and depth.
Szt. Tamás 2013, 6 puttonyos Aszú 1st growth 10%vol Sugar:175.69g/l Acidity:11.1g/l
Sharing the microclimate with Nyulászó, the Szt Tamás hill is the most notable feature of the commune of Mád and the most expensive hill in the Tokaji region. Planted with Furmint the earth is rich, red tinged clay due to the high mineral content in the soil.
Tasting Note: This wine is concentrated with big structure, elegant and graceful with a nose of orange peel mixed with honey. Lively acidity provides backbone and balance with intense richness and depth. Superb now with the promise of great longevity.
Royal Tokaji Blue Label, 5 puttonyos Aszú 2013 and Royal Tokaji Gold Label, 6 puttonyos Aszú 2013 are also on release.
These wines will be available on allocation from wine merchants in leading Royal Tokaji markets around the world. The 2013 single vineyard wines are packed in wooden cases of 6 x 500ml bottles per case or a red lacquer presentation box with 2 bottles of each of the wines.