Royal Tokaji was founded in 1989 by well-known author Hugh Johnson and a small group of investors, who were inspired after the fall of Communism to restore and preserve Hungary’s precious wine legacy. Royal Tokaji’s ensuing success can largely be contributed to its unique combination of first and second growth vineyards, including one of Hungary’s two great first growths: Mézes Mály. The winery produces several exceptional wines, including four single-vineyard Aszú wines. Its Aszú wines are crafted using traditional gönci casks and aged in the winery’s 13th-century underground cellars. Richness with vibrant acidity is the hallmark of all the Royal Tokaji wines. Situated along the southern slopes of the Zemplén Mountains, Tokaj is characterized by late springs and short growing seasons. The average temperatures are generally cool, with long, sunny summers and dry autumns. Tokaj’s soil is largely clay or loess with a volcanic substratum; vines are approximately 20 years old. The meeting of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers in Tokaj creates a mist similar to that of the fog in Sauternes. The mist encourages “botrytis cinerea,” or “noble rot,” which dries and shrivels the Furmint, Hárslevelü and Muscat grape varieties that comprise Tokaji wines, and concentrates the sugars. Grapes that are infected with botrytis are commonly referred to by the Hungarian term aszú. Royal Tokaji owns a unique combination of first and second growth vineyards that have always been privately owned, including one of the two great first growths: Mézes Mály. At one time, first growth vineyards Betsek, Szt. Tamás and Nyulászó were owned by Prince Rakoczi I. His vineyards were sold in the late 1660s to save the prince, who was involved in a conspiracy that would have otherwise cost him his life. His son, Prince Rakoczi II, was able to buy back the prized land in the 1700s. Three centuries later, these vineyards continue to be highly valued.
A medium amber colour with a rich deep bouquet of orange peel and toasted nuts. On the palate it has a very smooth creamy, vanilla character, and a long, lingering finish, ending with the sharp acidity that is so typical of Aszú wines.
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