There’s something rotten in Hungary.
At the end of October 2008, while most of the Northern Hemisphere watched over fermenting vats and tanks of red and white grapes, the Tokaji region in Hungary was preparing for the harvest.
The month of October witnessed an Indian summer in the area, providing the perfect conditions to finish the shriveling of the botrytis-affected, or aszú, berries necessary for the production of Tokaj, the sweet yet bracing dessert wines characteristic of this historic region.
The aszú berries are later blended with the dry, or base, wines made from healthy grapes. The number of containers of dried berries (27 liters in size) range from three to six and are designated on the label as puttonyos.
“Due to the unusually mild, sunny weather in the beginning of November and significant botrytis, there was an opportunity in some of the areas for a fourth berry selection,” said László Mészáros, estate manager at Disznókó´.
“After selectively picking the aszú berries from the area one last time, the overall harvest of Hárslevelú´ vines began mid-November,” he added. “The harvest was completed [with the picking of the healthy grapes for dry wines] on Nov. 20, just in time to avoid the first significant snowfall of the season.”
Mészáros expects elegant, aromatic, creamy-textured aszú wines “that are very drinkable,” but won’t have the structure of the classic wines of great vintages like 1999 and 1993.
|These aszú berries were harvested at Royal Tokaji Wine Company in 2008.|
For more information on these wines, visit the wineries' websites:
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