Media Conversations

The Sensory Appeal of Tokaji

“Wholly unique. Widely misunderstood. Genius.

“Tokaji is as savory and refreshing as it is sweet. Indeed, the wine may well be the most truly balanced wine in the world for, in the same split second, it registers on every sensory dimension currently known: sweet, salty, tart, spicy, bitter, and savory. (Which is why you can drink it anytime—including as an aperitif).

“I don’t get the opportunity to taste Tokaji that often, but when I do, I jump at the chance. Here are my thoughts on the just released 2008 vintage of the Royal Tokaji Company wines that I tasted recently with Ben Howkins, co-owner with several others (including the eminent English wine authority Hugh Johnson).

ROYAL TOKAJI COMPANY Red Label 5 Puttonyos 2008
“The flagship wine of RTC is full of savory and spicy flavors with exquisite bitter orange marmalade flavors. 90 points

ROYAL TOKAJI COMPANY Betsek 2008
“An easy-to-love favorite, this tokaji is from Betsek, the largest of RTC’s ‘First Class’ vineyards. Its precision is icicle-sharp. Lots of energy and edginess here. Long and vivid with an especially appealing salty, orange peel tanginess. And a rich sappiness in the middle. 93 Points

ROYAL TOKAJI COMPANY Szt. Tamás 2008
“The ‘First Class’ vineyard known as Szt. Tamás is full of reddish clay and volcanic rock. Botrytis develops easily in this vineyard, and the wines always have a distinct personality of orange peel, spices and a certain custardy richness. The texture is particularly ‘fat’ and sappy. 92 points

ROYAL TOKAJI COMPANY Mézes Mály 2008
“Pronounced ‘meshes my,’ and meaning ‘honey pot,’ Mézes Mály is the name of one of the ‘Great First Growths’ in Tokaji. An exquisite drinking experience, the wine is like ethereal droplets of sensation taking over your mind as well as your palate. 97 Points”

Karen MacNeil, December 31, 2015
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The Sensory Appeal of Tokaji