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Top-scoring Tokaji Aszú for the holidays

One of the great sweet wines of the world, discover a top selection of Tokaji Aszú wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards.

December 10th is International Aszú Day, celebrating one of the world’s greatest and oldest sweet wines from Hungary.

The Hungarian word for botrytis-affected berries, and the name of the resulting wine, ‘Aszú’ wines are produced with a centuries-old, unique winemaking method.

Decanter World Wine Awards Regional chair for North, Central & Eastern Europe, Caroline Gilby MW explains, ‘The Aszú grapes must be harvested laboriously one-by-one. A good picker may pick less than 10kg per day, visiting each vine four or five times. After harvest, these grapes are crushed and soaked in either grape juice, young wine or (most commonly today) fermenting must in order to extract flavours and sweetness.’

Tokaji sweetness: What is Aszú and why is it special? – Ask Decanter

The process is painstaking, but the resulting wines can be sensational with incredible balance between sweetness and acidity. This balance is particularly noted in tasting notes by the expert judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Discussing the DWWA judging process, Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW reflects on the quality of sweet wines that make it to the final rounds of judging, mentioning Tokaji in particular. ‘We have sensational Tokajis’ she comments. ‘The Tokaji we get entered into the competition is of a really high standard.’

Scroll down to see the top-scoring Tokaji Aszú wines of DWWA 2022

On judging sweet wines, Evans adds, ‘One other thing that’s important to say is that it’s very easy to be taken in by sweet wine, you’ll love it, just because it’s suddenly so sumptuous and delicious. It’s a matter of then putting together that complexity to see how it comes out.’

Year after year wines from Tokaj are awarded top marks at the Decanter World Wine Awards, and 2022 was no exception with six Gold and three Platinum medals awarded – two to Aszú wines and one to another of Tokaj’s sweet wines: Edes Szamorodni.

To celebrate the 6th annual International Aszú Day, this unique method of winemaking and these superbly complex wines, below discover 12 well worth trying this holiday season and beyond.

Search all DWWA 2022 award-winning wines from Tokaj on the DWWA results site here.

Top-scoring Tokaji Aszú for the holidays


Derczó-Lovas Pince, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017

Platinum, 97 points
A gorgeous wine, packed full of tropical fruits: maracuja, mango, acacia, candied pineapple, thyme, and a drizzle of honey. The palate shows a vibrant, almost racy acidity, with freshness, and an undertone of herbs. Very complex with a long delicious finish. Alc 10.4%

Gróf Degenfeld, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017

Platinum, 97 points
Pristine apricot and ginger jam, peaches and cream, honeysuckle, and orange blossom with a lovely light touch of warming spice. There’s a layer of new Hungarian oak adding toasted, woody notes, and the palate finishes with an assertive and imposing texture. Alc 11%


Mad, Nyulászó Grand Cru Aszú 2017

Gold, 96 points
This is exquisite with lots of silky-smooth texture and a gorgeously elegant acidity structure. Massively complex flavours of maple, crème caramel, maracuja, papaya, pineapple, and quince. Soft and gentle on the palate, with a rounded and elegant finish with notes of burnt sugar. Alc 9%

Disznókő, Hattyús Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2017

Gold, 95 points
This is superb, with a harmony of spice, acidity, fruit, body, length, and complexity. From toffee and honey to Mediterranean herbs (rosemary, lavender, thyme, even oregano)…physalis and starfruit… dried pineapple, mango…an endless palette of flavours. Gorgeous harmony. Close to perfection. Alc 12.5%

Gróf Degenfeld, Selection 6 Puttonyos Aszú 2017

Gold, 95 points
A beautifully plush and complex wine with lots of purity. The hugely sweet palate is balanced by a fine acidity and lemony fresh finish. There’s a spiced honey character that runs along the endless length. Alc 10.5%

Grand Tokaj, 6 Puttonyos Aszú 2014

Gold, 95 points
A great, classic wine with laser-precise acidity balancing the intense sweetness. The button mushroom botrytis nose develops into apricot preserve, saffron, orange zest, and jasmine tea. It shows an almost steely vibrancy and intensity. This has decades to go! Alc 10.1%


Patricius Borház, Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2017

Silver, 94 points
An extrovert of a wine: Dried apricot, acacia honey, Mediterranean herbs (thyme, lavender, rosemary), tropical notes, with exquisite acidity and a spice frame. Alc 11.5%

Balassa, Villő, Aszú 2017

Silver, 93 points
Ripe fig, marzipan, and honey on the nose. The palate is fresh, with creamy apricot, nectarine, caramel, and maple syrup. Alc 9.5%

Babits Borászat, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017

Silver, 93 points
A more oxidative, traditional style of Tokaji Aszu, with a tea-like, chamomile nose leading to a Turkish delight palate. Alc 9.7%

Zombory Pince, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2016

Silver, 93 points
Lusciously sweet balanced by a zippy quince character. Peaches with vanilla cream, mango, fresh pineapples, and gentle botrytis. Alc 9.7%

Disznókő, Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2014

Silver, 93 points
A gorgeous Tokaji, with lots of peach, raisin, and fig with some sweet caramel notes and some wax and mushroom accents developing. Alc 12%

Grand Tokaj, Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2015

Silver, 90 points
A closed sweet caramel and lemon nose gradually opens to present candied ginger, pineapple, dried mango, and a touch of earthy mushroom. Alc 11.4%

Discover a top selection of Tokaji Aszú wines for the holidays at Novel Wines, Decanter Retailer Awards 2022 Central & Eastern Europe Specialist Retailer of the Year

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