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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 (DWWA) 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.’

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 DWWA.

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 2023

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 sweet wines from Tokaj are awarded top marks at Decanter World Wine Awards, and 2023 was no exception with one Platinum awarded to another of Tokaj’s great sweet styles, Szamorodni (which can also be produced dry), and six Gold medals four of these to Aszú wines.

To celebrate the 7th annual International Aszú Day, this unique method of winemaking and these superbly complex wines, below discover 10 well worth trying this holiday season and beyond.

Search all DWWA 2023 award-winning wines from Tokaj at awards.decanter.com

Top-scoring Tokaji Aszú for the holidays

Patricius Borház, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2018
Gold, 96 points
An arresting and sensual sweetness of dried apricot, tangerine, honeysuckle and pear with a glossy sheen of new oak and an underlying surreptitious herbal tea fragility. Alcohol 11.5%

Béres Szőlőbirtok, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2016
Gold, 95 points
A tour de force with myriad candied orange peel, tangerine and dried apricot characters with a searing backbone of lemon acidity and a vibrant finish. Alc 9.29%

Hétszőlő, Tokaji Aszú Eszencia 2010
Gold, 95 points
Incredibly youthful for a 2010! Beset with smoky stone fruit and complex flinty aromas with a charming succulent sweetness and a very long, delicate finish. Alc 5%

Sauska, Aszú 2017
Gold, 95 points
Mesmerising candied yellow flowers, dried apricot, quince and orange peel languish in this vivid and sumptuous treat; enthralling and moreish with a refreshing, elegant finish. Alc 11.5%

Gizella Winery, Aszú 2018
Silver, 94 points
Liquid apricot fruit with a creamy touch, delicate grapefruit and hints of mango. Luscious on th palate, very concentrated. Alc 10%

Grand Tokaj, 5 Puttonyos Aszú 2017
Silver, 94 points
Waxy nose with elegant aromas of orange peel, dried apricots, white chocolate and toffee. Fine minerality and rich taste. Long finish. Alc 10.5%

Zombory Pince, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017
Silver, 94 points
Clean citrus with aromas of tangerine, lemon peel and quince ham. Harmonious sweetness on the palate, quite fresh finish. Alc 12%

Oroszlános Borbirtok, Aszú 6 puttonyos 2019
Silver, 93 points
Youthful, restrained aromas of stone fruits, white tea, chocolate, ginger and mushrooms, hints of sage. Sweet, with a firm acidity. Alc 10.7%

Oremus, Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2017
Silver, 92 points
Dried peach and apricot aromas, candied lemon peel and savoury hints of mushroom. Pretty sweet palate, harmonious and tasty. Alc 11%

Barra Winery, Aszúeszencia 2005
Silver, 90 points
Nutty aromas with notes of burnt sugar, bread, apricot jam, candied oranges and smoke. Lively on the palate, toasty finish. Alc 10%

Search all DWWA 2023 results

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