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Tokaji Renaissance

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Tokaji.

dry wines

Dobogó Dry Furmint 2006
50% Oak fermented and aged in older casks. Hoping to move to biodynamics, and think the climate will make it difficult but not impossible. Lovely scented nose, with herbs and dried apricot aromas. The palate has some weight and real staying power. Huge concentration and an almost Burgundian character. 90/100. UK agent is Liberty Wines. See all stockists of Dobogó on wine-searcher.com.

Gróf Degenfeld Tokaji Muscat Lunel 2007
Fragrant Muscat nose with fresh grape aromas and a little floral character. The palate is quite concentrated and grippy, despite just 12% alcohol. A big, slightly waxy mouthful of wine. 86/100. UK retail stockist not known.

Château Dereszla Dorombor 2007
80% Furmint, 20% Muscat. Fresh green apple nose. Palate has bright, racy, grapy fruit and is very clean and fresh. Just a background hint of sweetness, but the acidity soon sweeps it along into a clean, fresh, easy-drinking finish. 86/100. See all stockists of Derezla on wine-searcher.com.

Béres Dry Furmint 2005
A little Riesling-like petrol and waxy note over bold apple and apple skin character. The palate has a powerful edge of pithy, grippy lemon fruit. At almost three years old it is just starting to dry perhaps, but delightfully complex stuff this. 88/100. UK retail stockist not known.

Tokaj Pendits Dry Muscat 2007
Very fragrant and floral nose, with nectarine and apple skin notes. The palate is dry and apple fruited, with very crisp, clean flavours. Needs food. 86/100. UK retail stockist not known.

Arvay és Társa Chardonnay 2006
Nicely creamy, oatmeally quality, with good apple and melon fruit. The palate has a fairly precise, tight white fruit character. Quite stylish. 86/100. UK agent is Jascotts.

Arvay és Társa Furmint Szent Tamas 2007
Very nice toasty character to the nose, with a very dry herb, nettle and wax palate. This has good body and quite an intriguing complexity. 87/100.

new style sweet and semi-sweet wines

Tokaj Pendits 'Dialog' 2005
A Furmint/Muscat blend. Nicely smoky and mineral, with a hint of sweet, ripe apple and pear. The touch of residual sugar really flatters this and it softens those slightly aggressive notes. 87/100. Stockists as above.

Tokaj Pendits Szello 2005
Quite fresh and herby, with a palate that comes through with a delicate sweetness. A very gentle style of late-harvest wine that is charming and precise. 89/100. Stockists as above.

Arvay és Társa Tokaji Edes Elet 2003
162g/l of residual sugar means could be a 6 Puttonyos but they don't like to age this for as long as Tokaji Aszu rules. Beautifully deep, burnt umber character with Seville orange and dried fruit and a touch of chocolate. Palate has fine vanilla and very sweet, plush nectarine flavours. Big finish with a bit of toast. 94/100. Stockists as above.

Château Pajzos Tokaji Late Harvest Harslevelu 2005
Broad, smoky, softly honeyed character with moderately good fruit and a soft, fairly low-acid finish. Warming and easy to drink. 86/100. See all stockists of Pajzos on wine-searcher.com.

Dobogó 'Mylitta' Alma Tokaji 2006
A young Esszencia-standard wine with 230g/l sugar, that had one year in barrel, so declassified. Very powerful, deep, sweet Muscat notes (100% Muscat) with lots of smoke and orangy notes. The palate has full, honeyed luscious richness and fat, sweet apricot fleshiness terrific acidity too, and very, very long. 95/100. Stockists as above.

Samuel Tinon Szamorodni 2004
110g/l, this has a touch of oxidation to nice ripe fruit. The palate has a crispness and a citrus lift, with a broad, juicy peach and plum fruit and a nicely fresh finish. Very drinkable. 89/100. UK retail stockist not known.

Tokaji Aszú

Samuel Tinon Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2004
This has a touch of rotted orange quality and the honey and nutty richness comes through. Beautiful palate weight and the apricot and marmalade richness comes through. Refined lemony acidity and has lovely balance in the finish. 93/100. Stockists as above.

Gróf Degenfeld Tokaji Aszú 5 Putts 2000
Very intense, quite high and almost petrolly aromas. Fantastic sweetness and very nice fruit, with a glycerine richness but crisp tangerine fruit and orangy acidity. Very stylish. 94/100. Stockists as above.

Château Pajzos Tokaji Aszú 6 putts 2003
Very intense vanilla and Brazil nut nose. The palate is thick and very sweet, with a glycerine-thick texture and lovely acidity. Not as hot as 2000. 91/100. Stockists as above.

Château Pajzos Tokaji Aszú 6 putts 1999
Nice nose, with loads of barley sugar botrytis and a thick unctuous dried apricot character. Long and has a swirling smokiness before tight, focused acidity pushes through. 93/100. Stockists as above.

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