Where is the region of Tokaj?
In the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the far north east of Hungary and close to the Slovakian border
Describe the climate of Tokaj
Where are the best vineyards of Tokaj located?
On hillside slopes with southerly aspects
How are the conditions created for noble rot to develop in Tokaj?
By the Bodrog and Tisza rivers and their many tributaries They generate the necessary early morning humidity
What are the three principal grape varieties used for the creation of Tokaji?
What is the most widely planted variety used in the making of Tokaji?
Describe Hungarian wines made from Furmint
Concentrated, high acid wines Flavours of apples when young Nuts and honey when aged
What is the principal grape variety used for Aszú wines?
Why is Furmint better known for Aszú wines than dry wines?
Due to its late-ripening and susceptibility to botrytis
What does Hárslevelű contribute to a blend? Is it early or late-ripening?
By what more common name is Sárga Muskotály known?
Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains
What is Sárga Muskotály used for in blends?
Its aromatic qualities
What styles are Tokaji made into?
Sweet wines Dry wines
What is unique about completed Tokaji wines?
Sweet wines are sold in 50cl bottles (dry are in 75cl bottles)
Describe a producer's output during an average vintage in Tokaj
Depending on the degree of noble rot development, a producer will often make a number of different styles
How do producers allow for different styles in Tokaj?
They may separate the grapes into three different categories during the harvest
What is the Hungarian name for rotten grapes?
How will appropriate grapes be separated during harvest in Hungary?
Pickers will pass through the vineyards several times, selecting individual aszú grapes
The remainder will be picked separately
What does Szamorodni mean?
'As it comes'
What is Szamorodni?
It involves picking bunches partially affected by noble rot
What is the role of dry Tokaji wines unaffected by botrytis?
Gaining in importance
Allows producers to make wine when noble rot is less rife
Describe the range of styles of dry Tokaji
From simple, unoaked, early-drinking wines to more concentrated, age-worthy blends, which are often fermented and matured in new oak
What are dry Tokaji wines usually made from?
What are the Hungarian terms for dry and sweet?
What is unique about dry Szamorodni wines?
They will show noble rot characters
Describe the role of ageing for Szamorodni wines
They must be aged in cask for a minimum of one year and be a minimum of two years old before release
Casks are not completely filled to allow for flor to form on the surface
Which wine has a similar character to Szamorodni?
Which Tokaji wines use flor?
What is the result of flor not being used for sweet styles of Tokaji?
They may have an oxidative character
What is the trend with sweet Tokaji making now?
To fill the casks, avoiding the risk of oxidative character developing
Describe the process of making Aszú wines
Starts with a base wine of healthy grapes Before, during or after fermentation, Aszú berries are macerated in the base wine Mixture is pressed and matured in oak
How long is Aszú wine macerated for?
12 - 60 hours
How were Aszú berries traditionally treated before maceration for Tokaji? What is different now and why?
They were crushed into a paste They are usually used uncrushed now to avoid the extraction of bitter flavours
How is wine sweetness determined for Tokaji?
By the amount of Aszú berries used
What is the Hungarian unit of sweetness?
Describe classic Aszú Tokaji
Intense aromas/flavours of orange peel, apricots and honey
Describe the development of Tokaji concentration
The wines become more concentrated and intense as they rise up the sweetness scale
What essentially are Tokaji Eszencia wines?
Extremely rare sweet wines from Tokaj which are rarely available outside the region of production
How are Tokaji Eszencia wines made?
Using just the free-run juice of the aszú berries The must is so sweet, the wines can take years to ferment Even after that time, the wines may not have reached 5% abv
What is the legal minimum of alcohol for Tokaji Eszencia?
Describe Tokaji Eszencia flavours
They are balanced by very high acidity and have an enormously concentrated flavour
Can mature and retain freshness for a century or more
How are Tokaj's modern sweet wines made?
From grapes that spend an extended time on the vine
Some use botrytis infected fruit
How is vinification of Tokaj's modern sweet wines different to that of Aszú wines?
When botrytis is present, the botrytised grapes are fermented, rather than using the maceration process of Aszú wines
How else are Tokaj's modern sweet wines made differently to Aszú wines?
They may be matured for less time than Aszú wines
How are Tokaj's modern sweet wines usually labelled?
Since when have producers of Tokaj been working with new regulations with regard to wine making and labelling?
Why are Tokaj's new legal regulations only partially relevant?
The regulations are not yet/freshly implemented, and vintages up to 2012 will still be on the market for a long time
What is the traditional minimum sugar for Tokaji Aszú?
How would Tokaji Aszú be traditionally labelled regarding sweetness?
On a scale of three to six puttonyos depending on the levels of residual sugar above 60g/L
What were the traditional minimum ageing restrictions for Tokaji Aszú?
24 months in oak
Wine could only be released from January in the fourth year after harvest
What was the minimum residual sugar level required for Aszú wines to be labelled as Aszú Eszencia?
How has the minimum sugar level for Tokaji Aszú been changed under 2013 laws?
It has increased to 120g/L
What was previously required in Tokaj to have 120g/L?
A wine with a sweetness level of 5 puttonyos
How must wines be labelled in Tokaj when they have sugar levels below 120g/L?
Late Harvest or Tokaji Szamorodni depending on how they're made
Which wine term in Tokaj has been abolished under the 2013 law?
How have regulations changed for Tokaji Aszú?
They are now subject to shorter ageing requirements; 18 months in oak
They can be released from the January of the third year after harvest