Patricius, Tokaj Aszú "Five Puttonyos" 2016 (500ml)
Ah, Tokaji – that intense, honeyed, rich nectar that Hungary is most famous for; arguably one of the world’s oldest sweet wines. Produced and revered for thousands of years, Patricius continues that tradition by crafting some of the most lauded and refined examples of the stuff we’ve encountered.
Tokaji means “from Tokaj,” one of the main villages of the region in northwest Hungary. “Aszú” is the designation for Tokaji produced from 100% botrytis-influenced grapes, AKA “noble rot.” Tokaj sits at the confluence of two rivers – the Bodrog and the Tisza – whose mist and morning fog influence the formation of the prized “noble rot,” desiccating and concentrates the berries, which must be picked by hand, literally one berry at a time.
A “Puttonyo” indicates the amount of sweetness and concentration in Tokaji. Once upon a time it meant one basket of intensely-concentrated Aszú grapes added to the fermenting juice, and now it references a more specific amount. Five Puttonyos is the second-highest Tokaji designation, indicating tremendous complexity and depth.
Discover honey-glazed walnuts, candied Seville orange, apricot, beeswax, butterscotch, with glittering acidity holding it all up. The finish goes for minutes, unfolding in endless layers and depth. Pair with the strongest cheeses you can muster, foie gras, Peking duck, or juniper-scented bacon for a one-of-a-kind, magical culinary experience.
The grapes grown for it are the native Furmint and Hárslevelű; they work together similar to how Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon contribute to France’s Sauternes. Aromatic, bracing acidity, intense extract, and voluminous depth are the hallmarks of Tokaji.
Tokaji boasts some of the world’s first delineated boundaries for wine. For perspective, the first designated growing region, or “appellation,” in France was Châteauneuf-du-Pape in 1936. The first American Viticultural Area (A.V.A.) in the U.S. was established fifty years later in 1981. The vineyards of Tokaji were delineated by royal decree in 1737!
The Hungarians take Tokaji very seriously; in fact, it’s praised in Hungary’s national anthem:
“Tokaj szolo vesszein nektárt csepegtettél” – “into the vineyards of Tokaj you dripped sweet nectar.”
Patricius’s Tokaji Aszú is the stuff of legend, presented in a beautiful 500ml format, delivered free on only three bottles – you won’t find an offer such as that anywhere else. Stock up for meditative fall and winter sipping, give as gifts, or sock it away in your cellar knowing it will continue to astound for another decade-plus hence. Enjoy!
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