2015 Late Harvest, Tokaj
Were we “mad” to invest in Mád? Absolutely not! Mád is a beautiful town located in the heart of Hungary’s finest wine region where noble wine producers have gathered to conduct business and merry-making for centuries. And Mád Cuvée is a luscious wine with honey-like flavors that can only be made in a place called Mád.
2015 was a very good vintage for dry and late harvest wines, with generally warm and dry conditions prevailing in and around Royal Tokaji’s vineyards in Mád, Tarcal, and beyond. Flowering took place in perfect conditions, warm, dry and sunny. Fruit set was also successful but, to general bemusement and for no apparent good reason, there were far fewer bunches than normal.
The vines developed well throughout June and July, promising good quality and quantity. However, towards the end of July and throughout August drought conditions set in, with rainfall levels at the lowest since records began - from the beginning of the year to harvest, in some parts of the region there was as little as 180mm of rainfall.
As a result, the challenge was to pick at the right time to maximize ripeness and fruit intensity while avoiding loss of acidity and high pH, and promoting optimum potential alcohol levels. This was successfully achieved, no doubt assisted by the vines having fewer grapes to ripen than usual – perhaps nature had previously foreseen potential problems and adapted accordingly.
Harvest for our dry styles was earlier than average, not for the first time in recent years, beginning on September 8th for Furmint in Tarcal, some two weeks sooner than usual. Sunny, warm and calm weather led to comparatively straightforward picking conditions and a good yield of ripe, healthy grapes with excellent sugar levels and moderate but crisp acidity was collected. Harvest was extended to early October to maximize the conditions.
Meanwhile, back in the vineyards, as the weather became more unsettled, the damper conditions promoted the development of noble rot and opportunities arose for an excellent late harvest wine.
Expert pickers completed the harvest just before the heavens opened and about eight months’ worth of rain fell in a few short weeks, allowing a fine crop of ripe, overripe, and nobly-rotten Furmint, Hárslevelű and Yellow Muscat grapes, perfect for the production of elegant and harmonious late harvest wine.
Pale gold color with delicate aromas of exotic fruits and spice. Light and fresh on the palate with hints of white peach, the wine is medium sweet with an excellent acid balance, a silky texture and a clean, long , crisp finish.