Gold Label, Tokaj – 2013
Gold Label 6 puttonyos is the ultimate expression of its region and is the result of two separate selections. After harvest the very best juice from each vineyard is selected and vinified separately. After 2-3 years, sometimes more, barrels which most closely reflect their particular terroir are chosen for bottling as Single Vineyard aszú wines and the remainders are blended to produce Gold Label.
Winter was mild, and it was nice to walk outside in a t-shirt in the first half of March. However Mother Nature played a joke on us at the end of the month – we suddenly had 10-12 cm snow just a few days before Easter. Many of the other fruit orchards got severe frost but not the Tokaj vineyards as they are located along hillsides at quite high altitude. The rest of the spring was warm again.
Up to the middle of June we were worried about facing another very rainy season as we had had over two thirds of the annual average rainfall by then. Berry setting was not perfect because of the rain during blossoming but it did not reduce crop dramatically. It was just enough to avoid the need of a heavy green harvest. Our vineyards looked really nice and only tiny patches suffered from the drought.
Then the weather was miraculous after the veraison started, we could not even dream for nicer conditions for developing aszú berries (botrytis-affected grapes resulting in noble rot).
August was extremely hot and dry and we were grateful for the earlier high rainfall. We had plenty of dry weather around Mád and this is one of the reasons that not a lot of aszú wines were made. However, their quality is excellent.
It is obvious that 2013 is among top vintages for Royal Tokaji regarding the quality of both dry and sweet wines, especially aszú, as already predicted by the grapes’ large berry size and their thin skin by the middle of July.
It had been several years since such a top vintage for botrytis and aszú, but it was well worth the wait – only time will tell if 2013 proves to be one of the all-time great vintages, but it is certainly exceptional and has produced brilliant Royal Tokaji aszú wines.
- Barrel Aging: 30 months in old Hungarian oak from the Zemplen forest (mostly 500-liter/132-gallon barrels with some 350-liter/92-gallon barrels). When new, the barrels were used to age the Royal Tokaji Furmint.
- Bottled: May 28, 2010
- Varietal Composition: Furmint, Hárslevelű, Zeta
- Production (in cases): 2.210 cases
- Production Case Pack: 6/500ml
- Alcohol: 10.5%
- TA: 8.1g/L
- RS: 188.3g/L
Rich, intense nose, hints of grapefruit and spice. Full-flavored with citrus, peach and apricot fruit and a fine balance of sweetness and acidity. Long, crisp finish.
Gold Label, Tokaj – 2013 – 97 points – Wine Enthusiast
“... is golden in color, with aromas of delicate acacia flower, honeysuckle, fresh peach and tinned apricot. The flavors come alive on the palate, showing luscious apricot, floral honeycomb and fresh pear juice. The acidity is perfectly balanced..."
Gold Label, Tokaj – 2013 – 94 points – Wine Spectator
“This is like fine silk on the palate, impeccably balanced, with a finely woven panoply of melon pâte de fruit, exotic cardamom, cumin, passion fruit coulis, toasted almond and crushed pine needle notes. Long and creamy on the mouthwatering finish.”