Royal Tokaji - 'Betsek' Aszu 6 Puttonyos 2017 (500ml)
Betsek hill is a celebrated First Growth vineyard located in the Mád basin. Its volcanic bedrock is overlaid with rich clay mixed with dark, almost black, humus soil and chalk-white minerals. Royal Tokaji owns 15 hectares of south-facing parcels planted with Furmint and Hárslevelű vines with an average age of around 40 years.
This wine shows typical black pepper and orange zest character, vibrant honey and grapefruit on the palate with a long, spicy finish.
In truly exceptional years Royal Tokaji selects the finest berries from its classed vineyards and carefully produces a few barrels of single vineyard aszú wine. 2017 was such a year, just the eighth this century, showing exceptional richness, structure and backbone balanced by lively acidity – a truly volcanic vintage. Summer was hot, so we began the aszú berry harvest in early September and continued to pick steadily through the ideal autumn weather. In particular, October provided three textbook weeks for fine quality aszú, with day after day of early morning mists, afternoon sunshine and drying winds. We hand-harvested each intensely flavored aszú berry from the bunches on the vines. The aszú harvest required multiple passes through each block over many weeks. The aszú wines show great structure, plenty of botrytis, depth and freshness with excellent complexity, all attributes of long ageing potential.
Excellent quality aszú berries with good structure and perfect botrytis were macerated in fermenting must for two days. After pressing, fermentation finished in neutral Hungarian Zemplen oak barrels. The wines were then transferred into different casks for maturation over two years in Royal Tokaji’s 13th century cellars. The final blends were crafted in Spring 2020.
Wine Enthusiast: 97 Points
This amber-colored Tokaj Aszú is made from grapes from the Betsek vineyard. It has heady aromas of intense apricot, acacia and Bartlett pear. There is elegant sweetness and flavors of apricot and canned peach. It is nicely balanced in sweetness and acidity.
Wine Advocate: 96 Points
This has a very harmonious, Sauternes-like bouquet with orange blossom and wild peach aromas percolating through with time. The palate is poised and focused, delivering vibrant energy a touch of spiciness on the back palate and outstanding length.