Two centuries ago, Tokaji was the most celebrated wine of Europe. It was drunk by the Tsar of Russia and Louis XIV of France. Between 1733 and 1798, the Tsars maintained a garrison of Cossacks on the country roads of Tokaji-Hegyalja, the region of northeastern Hungary in order to protect the wines safely back to St Petersburg; later, the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef sent Tokaji wines to Queen Victoria annually on her birthday. The Szepsy family has been making Tokaji Aszú wines since 1600s. Today, István Szepsy is the most highly regarded winemaker in the Tokaj region. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, István Szepsy’s expertise was instrumental in the establishment of the Royal Tokaj Wine Company. In 1989, István Szepsy revived the Szepsy family tradition of producing wines under the Szepsy label from family vineyards.Istvàn Szepsy is widely regarded as Hungary’s leading winemaker – he can trace his ancestry back to the 1630s when one of his ancestors was the first person to write down the process used to make the fabulous sweet wines of the legendary Tokaj region. Istvàn has been involved in winemaking in the region for over 50 years and has an unrivalled knowledge of its vineyards and the demands of the region’s unique grape varieties. His travels to all the world’s great sweet wine estates have been a catalyst for the current resurgence in the quality of the region’s wines. Istvàn’s wines are without equal in their own region and are all truly world class.
An intensely aromatic wine, filled to the brim with classic sweet Tokaji fare: orange peel, sultana, tea, and sweet dried fruits. But this is very serious for a late-harvest style wine, relatively big and very, very fresh. Candied fruits and plenty of honey with finely embedded acids and a curious verbena-like fresh note. The finish is intense, vibrant, sweet, and long.
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