Royal Tokaji

Tokaj, Hungary

Essencia, Tokaj – 2000

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  • Introduction

    • Essencia is the world’s most concentrated essence of its ripest grapes. The second vintage of the true Royal Tokaji Essencia since the celebrated 1993, the 2000 Essencia is offered in a stately brass-hinged wooden box carved from Hungarian oak, lined with velvet and containing the indulgent Royal Tokaji Hungarian crystal sipping spoon. The spoon was designed exclusively for Royal Tokaji, enabling 33 sips per bottle — or 66 if you share your spoonful with a loved one. The back label bears the number of each bottle produced. The 2000 vintage is elegant with nice balance and lovely aromas. The lack of botrytis is well compensated by the wine’s freshness, floral notes, amazing fruitiness and honey.

      Essencia Through the Ages
      Pope Benedict XVI was given bottle Number 1 of the Royal Tokaji 1993 Essencia, thus reviving the ancient tradition of each Pope keeping a bottle of Essencia by his bedside to see him through any illness. To renew the custom of Russian Czars enjoying Essencia, a practice that started with Peter the Great in the 1600s, President Putin was given a few bottles of the Royal Tokaji 1999 Essencia in September 2006.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Appellation: Tokaj
  • Vintage Report

    • The millennium magic shone on Tokaj. Winter was quite short and blossoming started early. Budbreak and flowering were two weeks ahead of previous vintages, which resulted in early ripening — the middle of August for Muscat and early September for Furmint and Hárslevelü. Ripening was further escalated by the hot, dry summer. These extreme conditions also resulted in fully ripe berries before they began to shrivel and three-quarters of which had a sugar lever greater than 70 -ercent, which is extremely high. Overall there was very little botrytis.

  • Vinification

    • The methods and traditions of producing Tokaji wines have changed little since the 17th century. Two hundred pounds of Furmint, Hárslevelü and Muscat berries infected with “Botrytis cinera,” or “noble rot,” are individually harvested from bunches with at least three trips through each vineyard, and collected in 25-kilogram (55-pound) wooden tubs called puttonyos. Essencia is produced using only the free-run juice that slowly oozes from the puttonyos as the “aszú,” the “botrytis-infected grapes,” await crushing — no base wine is added. This juice — produced from the gentle pressure of the grapes’ own weight—is sticky and pours like honey. Because sugar levels can be as high as 85%, the juice ferments extremely slowly — it took the 2000 Essencia seven years in Royal Tokaji’s cellars to reach only 2 percent alcohol. Essencia is an immortal wine and may last for 200 years or more.

    • Aging: 7 years in demijohns
    • Bottled: September 2007
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: Furmint, Hárslevelü, Muscat
    • Production (in cases): 2,050 bottles (1/375ml)
    • Cases Imported: 600 Bottles
    • Alcohol: 2.0%
    • TA: 21.4g/L
    • RS: 620g/L
  • Tasting Notes

    • Honey, apricot, hints of butterscotch all contribute to the wonderful balance of citrusy acids which prevent it being dominated by extremely high sugar levels.

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Reviews

  • Essencia, Tokaj – 2000 – 100 points – eRobertParker.com

    “…bouquet that is so pure and visceral with orange liqueur, white flowers, passion fruit, marmalade, quince jus and apricots, then in the background…warm gingerbread!...palate is fat, viscous, thick and syrupy, struck through with razor-sharp acidity...”

  • Essencia, Tokaj – 2000 – 95 points – Wine Enthusiast

    "An elegant nose of honey, apricot, butterscotch and spice is followed by a luxuriant, mouth-coating wave of satiny honey and apricot...balanced by citrusy acidity. Complex...delicious when sipped alone or paired with a mild Roquefort or fruit."

  • Essencia, Tokaj – 2000 – Silver – Decanter

    “Serious nose, dried apricot and Christmas cake. Intense, sweet, long and very good acids. Developing complexity.”

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