Betsek, 6 Puttonyos, Tokaj – 2008
First Growth, 6 Puttonyos
The largest of Royal Tokaji’s first-growth vineyards, Betsek (bet-CHEK) is named after an old Magyar family. Shaped like a crescent moon and facing southeast, it is situated to the east of the Nyúlászó and Szt. Tamás vineyards in what is known as “the basin of the first growths.” Betsek faces Király — the old royal vineyard — and the town of Kővágó. Its terroir totals 89 hectares (219.9 acres); Royal Tokaji owns 15 hectares (37 acres), all of which are planted to vines except 1 hectare (2.47 acres) which lies fallow. The area where the vineyard is located is typically cold — lower portions of the vineyard have been known to freeze in the spring. The black volcanic topsoil contributes to the mineral and lovely black pepper characters in the wine. Being at the bottom of the valley, the vineyard imparts a much more earthy character to the wine than the other first growths.
- Appellation: Tokaj
- Size: 15 hectares (37 acres), 1 hectare (2.47 acres) fallow
- Vine Age: Planted 1972-1977
- Elevation: Average of 140 meters (460 feet)
- Density: 3,000 vines/hectare (1,215 vines/acre)
A very mild winter was followed by rain from spring until early summer. In August, the weather changed dramatically. September was cool and wet again, delaying ripening. A lovely and very long Indian summer from early October turned a good vintage into a great one. The miraculous weather provided perfect conditions for developing aszú berries and the harvest was of unmatched quality.
- Barrel Aging: 24 months in old Hungarian oak
Almond, marzipan, red-currant and ripe greengage on the nose. The almond and ripe greengage continue on the palate with great acidity for the acid structure, which is typical of young Betsek. The finish is very clean and long with lovely vivid acidity.
- Serving Suggestions: Royal Tokaji’s Aszú wines are wonderful as an apéritif or digestif, with cigars and petits fours. Given their bright acidity, these wines also pair well with a wide variety of foods, including foie gras, fruit tarts, chocolate desserts and a variety of cheeses. Serve slightly chilled at 12 to 15 degrees Celsius (54 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) in a small port glass or a glass of similar size.
- Varietal Composition: Furmint, Hárslevelü, Muscat
- Production (in cases): 788 cases
- Production Case Pack: 6/500ml
- Alcohol: 11%
- TA: 10.5g/L
- RS: 185g/L
Betsek, 6 Puttonyos, Tokaj – 2008 – 95 points – eRobertParker.com
“The nose is as clean as a whistle: beautifully delineated with candied orange peel, honeysuckle and resinous scents… razor-sharp acidity that lends this Tokaji so much freshness and vitality...This brilliant Tokaji will last decades, not years.”
Betsek, 6 Puttonyos, Tokaj – 2008 – 95 points – Wine Spectator
“Very sweet, this is offset by bracing acidity, exuding apricot, pear, orange and mineral flavors. Amazingly intense given the light-weight, vivid frame. The orange and apricot finish echoes a stony note, displaying exceptional acidity and power..."