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Tokaji tasting notes

© 2011 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Tokaji.


The wines of Tokaj Nobilis are not currently imported into the UK, though owner Sarolta Bárdos told me she was in advanced discussions with a London merchant. There is some distribution in Germany and France.

Tokaj Nobilis, Birtokbor 2009
90% Furmint, 10% Hárslevelű, 40% oak fermentation, co-fermented, 13% alcohol. Fairly neutral nose, with small herbal and apple skin notes, a faint hint of honey. On the palate quite powerful and mouth-filling, with a broad acidity and bite of tannin and leesy grip and richness. A nicely made wine, staying fairly neutral but fresh. 87/100.

Tokaj Nobilis, 'Hars' Hárslevelű 2009
14% alcohol. This single vineyard wine has a lovely, gentle honey, floral and smoky aroma with little straw like and earthy notes, and typical wild yeast character. Fermented and aged eight months in oak it is full of flavour on the palate, with lots of orange and apricot. There's grip and there's some nutty oak, but the freshness and ripeness of the fruit comes through. 89-90/100

Tokaj Nobilis, Furmint 2009
14% alcohol. 8g/l sugar, which is where the natural yeast stops fermenting. From the same vineyard as the Hars, six months in oak. Lovely creamy, oatmeal and straw notes over some toasty oak. Nice white fruit beneath. On the palate a definite off-dry palate, with lovely balance, the alcohol not overbearing, the clean, mineral acidity fresh and the palate with lingering fruit ripeness and some real structure. 91/100.

Tokaj Nobilis, Kövérszőlő 2008
60g/l residual sugar, less acidity than the Furmint. 11.5% alcohol. Lightly smoky and creamy with ripe orchard fruits and some citrus, lovely ripe Ogen melon hints of tropicality. Delicious palate, the sweetness is juicy, Kabinett level, light and gossamer texture and acidity. Delightful. 88/100

Tokaj Nobilis, Amicus Late Harvest 2008
Labelled as 'Noble Late Harvest'. Style close to sweet Szamorodni, 6 months in oak. 90% Furmint, 7% Kövérszőlő, 3% Hárslevelű. 11.5% alcohol. RS 120g/l sugar, 9g/l total acid. Some lovely deep, honey and barley sugar and orange character, Aszú-like, with lovely delicate tangerine character. Absolutely delicious palate, with silky, smooth creaminess of texture, fabulous acidity and delicious apricot and tangerine tang. Brilliant wine (in all sense of the word) with real verve and delicious sweetness. 93/100.

Tokaj Nobilis, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2007
90% Furmint, 10% Kövérszőlő. Fermented in late harvest Furmint must for maceration. 10% of production, the estate only produces 5 and 6 Puttonyos. 220g/l residual sugar, 10% alcohol. Just over two years in oak. Creamy, vanillin oak on the nose, but very gentle and nicely integrating with white fruit and apricot, staying quite clean with a touch of camomile, and lovely refinement. Brilliant palate too, the precision and clarity is fabulous, with such beautiful sweet fruit flavours but just terrific length, precision and gloriously focused finish that goes on for minutes. 96-97/100.

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