Our #winelover week in Hungary couldn’t have started any better. Blue skies and crisp air… the excitement of being in the legendary Tokaj region and the opportunity to taste the wines from one of the best producers made our hearts beat faster…
Yulia Tatarintseva: Feeling at the top of the world.
A walk in the vineyards and we got to understand the meaning of the word Disznókő – “pig rock”, a big rock sitting on the side of the lookout tower at the top of the hill (picture). The vineyards are located at the point where the southern foothills of the Zemplén mountains meet the Great Plain (Puszta). With 104 hectares of vineyards they own some of the best sites of the region, as history books shows that it was proclaimed one of the top three Aszú sites in 1800s!
The Disznókő vineyards have comparable percentages of grape varieties to the vineyards of the Tokay region: 60% Furmint, 28% Hárslevelű, 10% Zéta (a crossing of Furmint and Bouvier), and 2% Yellow Muscat. They are planted on clay soils over a volcanic bedrock.
László Mészáros, Disznókő’s general manager (and #winelover)
After our visit to the vineyards, we had a chance to taste some of their wines: a Tokaji dry Furmint and a Tokaji late harvest. A great way to understand that the region is not only about wines made from botrytized grapes (Aszú grapes). Their intention is to keep the freshness of the fruit and to show the typical character of the region. If you haven’t tried a dry Furmint from Tokay yet, you are really missing something.
My new Hungarian #winelover friends – Angerman Öcsi László and Tényi Tamás – enjoying a walk in the vineyards.
After lunch, we had a chance to taste a bottle of Eszencia 2005. It was poured to small “angel glasses” and it was intense, complex… but, above all, DELICIOUS! Eszencia is the the world’s richest, most concentrated natural nectar. It feels great to know that some people recognize our (#winelover) passion.for.wine and they give us the opportunity to taste these amazing bottles… What is that word that I’m looking for? Yes, GRATEFUL.
Learning how to prune was really interesting… But the question is… is Olga Mosina going to approve this picture?
Disznókő applies short-stalk pruning. The idea is to leave 6 stalks on the average because they consider 10-12 clusters per vine-stock their optimal yield.
So much pleasure… so many things we learned! About the wines and about the vintages…
2009 Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos: Dark straw yellow with a golden tinge. This is a very rich wine with ripe tropical fruit and smooth acidity. Very pleasant on the palate. 2009 was a year of intense Botrytis in Tokaj.
2008 Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos: Light golden color. Not so intense as the 2009, but very fresh and spicy. Lemon and marmalade on the same glass? Yes, this is definitely a very complex wine. 2008 was a very good vintage with lots of Botrytis. The wines are fresh and easy to drink.
2007 Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos: Brilliant golden color. Elegance and finesse in a glass of wine with lots of ripe fruit and a long and pleasant finish. 2007 had a very hot summer and a rainy harvest. The result? Plenty of noble rot on the grapes.
2006 Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos: Vivid golden color. Intense nose with lots of fruits and spices. Sharp and focused. Great balance and a delightful finish. My favorite of the 5 Puttonyos. 2006 was a vintage that produced very clean wines with high acidity.
2005 Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos: Dark golden color. Complex, powerful and exotic. The acidity is intense and delivers a delicious long finish. 2005 is a classic vintage for Tokaj. A year that produced wines with great balance.
2004 Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos: Light golden color proves that the spectrum of colors of Tokaji wines are not only related to age (the older it gets, the darker it gets) like in many other white wines. The wine is fresh and spicy. Long and pleasant finish.
Amazing wines… #happy #winelover-s
2003 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos: Deep golden color with an amber tinge at the rim . Fresh, intense and powerful with lots of ripe fruit. The wine shows great balance at a high acidity level (10 g/l). 2003 was a very hot and dry vintage. The wines are complex and rich.
2002 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos: Bright golden color. The crisp acidity makes the wine very fresh on the palate. The wine has plenty of spices and a pleasant long finish. 2002 was an early vintage with quite high acidity.
2000 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos: Deep golden color. Intense toffee and caramel flavors with a note of honey. The wine is soft and round and delivers a pleasant long finish. 2000 was a very hot and easy vintage. The wines are rich and powerful but the acidity is lower than what one should expect in a more typical year in Tokaj.
1999 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos: Rich golden color. The wine is very fresh and extremely well balanced – This will sound like a paradox, but I tempted to say that in this wine, finesse meets power… And an incredible delicious long finish! 1999 was the best vintage of the 90s. The wines are well structured and focused.
Men (and women) at work… my dear “Brother in Wine” Dusan Jelic (first on the right) getting ready for the next wine!
1997 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos: Dark golden color with hints of amber. Very exotic nose with plenty of fruits and flowers. Fresh on the palate with a long finish. The acidity of this wine (10.7 g/l) will allow it to age well for a very long time. 1997 was cold and dry with late development of botrytis. This wine is proof, however, that a good producer can make excellent wines even in a difficult vintage.
1995 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos: Vibrant golden color. The wine is rich and complex with lovely notes of nuts and spices on the nose. Fruity and creamy on the palate with a very clear botrytis character. 1995 was a year with a hot and dry summer. The wines are fruity and rich, but not as structured as one that comes from a great vintage such as 1999.
1993 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos: Dark golden color. Very complex nose, with fresh fruit but also notes of an aged wine. Extremely fresh for a wine that is almost 20 years old! It is spicy, rich, and delicious. The wine has a great balance, combined with its super pleasant long finish. It was one of my favorite wines of the tasting. 1993 was a great vintage. The wines have great acidity and and the ability to age for many many years.
Lotte Karolina – #winelover and unofficial Tokaj ambassador – captures a beautiful sunset at the end of our visit.
This is what they have to offer when you go: “Walk around the estate that includes the following: belvedere, vine plantation, vineyard inn, wine-press house, wine processing buildings, bottling house, tractors’ garage, wine-cellar with oak-barrels.”
Luiz Alberto, #winelover