Tokaji is one of the world’s great heritage wines. The sweet Aszú wines from Tokaji are recorded in history as far back as 1571. In fact, the most expensive bottle collector Thomas Jefferson ever bought was not a Lafite but a sweet wine from Tokaji. The magic of Tokaji is the region’s position at the convergence of two rivers. These rivers encourage early morning mists to drift across the vineyards, providing a perfect environment for botrytis (“noble rot”) to flourish. The vines have such low yields that one vine can often yield only one glass of wine! The Aszú grapes are picked, crushed and fermented in large Hungarian oak barrels with natural yeasts. This is a highly traditional method of wine-making which has not changed for centuries.
The uniquely exciting thing about top-level Tokaji is its incredible freshness, which balances out the natural sweetness. If you taste a top Tokaji next to Château d’Yquem you immediately feel the difference across your palate. These are exceptional wines, made in tiny quantities with incredible skill, and they are massively in demand.