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Késői Szüret Sárgamuskotály – Béres Tokaj

This is an unusual wine, a 100 percent Muscat Blanc (Sárgamuskotály) made from late-harvested grapes. Sárgamuskotály is one of the six white grape varieties planted in Tokaj, but it’s not so common to find single-varietal wines made with this grape. Tokaj’s volcanic soils, combined with its cool growing conditions, work very well for this grape, and help keep the acidity quite high and the characteristic floral and aromatic flavors intact. In Tokaj late-harvest wines are made with over-ripened grapes which do not necessarily have to include botrytized grapes. But this wine does, and the light botrytis characteristics makes it even more interesting. Grapes for this wine were harvested in the volcanic Diókút vineyard in November. It was fermented in tanks, and had a brief one-month aging stint in oak barrels. The residual sugar is an incredible 209 grams per liter (more than a 6 puttonyos Aszú), and acidity is 7 grams per liter. Alcohol is 11.5 percent. This is a very full-bodied sweet wine, but still has a nice balance. It has a light golden color, with a thick texture. The pure Muscat Blanc characteristics—fresh flowers, dried elderflowers, lavender syrup—are all here, and the flavor of elderflower (which blooms all over Tokaj in the spring) is long-lingering. There are also notes of fresh mango, raspberries, and apple juice, as well as a bit of spiciness from the oak aging (cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon). This is a lovely and unique wine, which would pair well with a cake or pie that is not overly sweet.

10,590 Ft

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*Prices shown include Hungarian VAT (27%). Final prices are calculated based on the VAT of your shipping country.

In 1700 Tokaj developed one of the world’s earliest vineyard classification systems, and Tokaj is most famous for being the birthplace of Tokaji Aszú—one of the world’s oldest sweet wines.

Located in northeastern Hungary—which historically has been the crossroads of Central Europe—the region is framed by natural borders: the town of Tokaj in the southwest corner where the Bodrog and the Tisza rivers meet, the Bodrog river to the southeast, and the Zemplén hills to the northwest. The Tokaj region has 5,500 hectares of vineyards and 27 towns and villages. Wines from the different vineyards can all be quite different, and winemakers here love to experiment with single vineyard wines.

On top of its long and fascinating history, the Tokaj region has so much for wine-lover’s to discover. It is rich in a variety of volcanic soils; has a microclimate ideal for bringing on noble rot (botrytis); grows some really interesting indigenous grape varieties; and has a truly enchanting subterranean labyrinth of mould-covered cellars where the wines age. Though Tokaj is best known for its sweet Aszú wines, which are made from botrytized grapes, more than half of the wine it produces is dry.

Six official grape varieties grow in Tokaj. The superstars are the indigenous varieties Furmint and Hárslevelű, with Furmint being the high profile grape that tends to steal the show. Other varieties grown in smaller quantities are Sárga Muskotály, Kövérszölö, Zéta (a crossing of Furmint and Bouvier), and Kabar (a crossing of Hárslevelű and Bouvier). All of these wines are being increasingly made in dry styles, which winemakers are embracing because they are more marketable.

But it’s the sweet wines which make the region so unlike any other. They rely on the development of botrytis, which comes with the right weather conditions. The harvest here is a long, labor-intensive process which starts with the dry wine harvests, and continues with the harvesting of the botrytized grapes, which is done by hand.

In addition to Aszú (which is made with botryized grapes which are selectively harvested by hand, one berry at a time), other styles include late harvest wines, sweet and dry versions of Szamorodni (made with whole clusters of grapes containing a mixture of both botrytized and healthy grapes), Forditás (made from the second pressing after Aszú is made), Máslás (made from the second pressing after Aszú is made), and Eszencia (made from the free-run juice of Aszú berries, so thick and concentrated that it only reaches about four percent alcohol).

Béres is a well-known family name in Hungary. Before getting into the wine business, Dr. Béres developed the “Béres drops” (Béres csepp), a popular multivitamin that has also made it to the “Hungaricum” list, a list which names the most important Hungary products.

The Béres family founded their winery in 2003. They have 45 hectares of vineyards, and an average annual production of 100,000 bottles. Their winery and many of their vineyards (and a plum orchard, from which they make pálinka) are located in the picturesque village of Erdőbénye.

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25-27
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