Learn the geography, grape varieties, climate, soil, wine styles, and producers of Hungary.
What is the climate of Hungary?
Where in Hungary is the Tokaj region?
Tokaj is situated at the confluence of which 2 rivers?
Tisza and Bodrog Rivers
What is the main grape used in Tokaji?
Furmint is textural and redolent of freshly cut apples with high acidity and concentration; as it ages it develops nutty and honey flavors.
What is the secondary grape used in Tokaji?
Hárslevelű is a spicy, aromatic grape with elevated acidity.
What is the third grape used in Tokaji?
Sárga Muskotály, aka Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains.
Sárga Muskotály is perfumed and floral.
What is the bottle size for sweet wines in Hungary?
50cl, or 500ml
What does Aszú mean?
Aszú indicates the grapes were affected by Botrytis/Noble Rot.
What is Tokaji Szamorodni?
Szamorodni translates to “as it comes,” so Tokaji Szamorodni means “Tokaji as it comes.”
This means that there was no selection between normal ripe, non-Botrytis grapes and aszú grapes - all grapes were harvested together, pressed together, and vinified together. Even a smidge of Botrytis will display the notes of noble rot in even a dry wine.
Because there was no selection the wine may come out dry or semi-sweet, depending on how much Botrytis was present at time of harvest.
What is the minimum aging requirement for Tokaji Szamorodni?
THIS HAS CHANGED!
New laws per WSET 3 textbook 2022 edition:
- Aged in cask minimum 6 months;
- Can be released January 1st the second year after harvest.
Old laws per textbook printed 2016, p.117:
- Aged in cask minimum 1 year and must be 2 years old prior to release.
What does száraz mean on a bottle of Tokaji Szamorodni?
What does édes mean on a bottle of Tokaji Szamorodni?
How sweet the wine is depends on how much Botrytis was present when the grapes were harvested.
Sometimes a Hungarian winemaker will not fill up their Szamorodni barrels all the way.
What happens to the wine if it isn’t topped up?
The wine may develop flor-like yeast which will lead to flavor characteristics in the wine similar to a Fino Sherry.
What is a trend, or style of wine, coming out of Tokaj these days that doesn’t involve sweet wines?
Dry white wines made primarily from Furmint, often fermented and/or matured in oak (neutral or new).
How is Tokaji Aszú made?
Botrytis-affected (aszú) berries macerate with non-botrytis affected must (a standard base wine) either before, during, or after fermentation for half a day up to 60 hours. The aszú infuses the must or wine with botrytis characteristics.
The must or wine is pressed and afterward it is matured in oak.
How many aszú berries were used will determine the final sweetness of the wine.