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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 by the expert judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards year after year.

Discussing the DWWA judging process and final round of judging for Best in Show at our Decanter at Home event, Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW reflects on the challenges the judges face when selecting the competition’s top 50 wines, particularly for sweet wines. While presenting Capezzana’s Best in Show Vin Santo 2013 from Tuscany, she comments,

‘What was interesting – some of the other battles we had in 2021 was – we had a particular battle with Tokaji for instance, which we have every year. We have sensational Tokajis and if you look, there were five that we could have given top marks to, and actually, there was a whole flight of ten which were sensational. The Tokaji we get entered into the competition is of a really high standard.’

Scroll down to see tasting notes for the top-scoring Tokaji Aszú wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards

On judging sweet wines, Evans MW added, ‘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.’ Find out more and watch ‘Showstoppers: Judging the best of the best with the Decanter World Wine Awards Co-Chairs’ at our Decanter at Home event. Book tickets here

Though Tokaj did not win a Best in Show medal at the 2021 competition, the region received both praise from the judges and noteworthy results with more than 80% of Tokaji wines awarded 90+ points, including four Platinum medals to traditional sweet wines – an accolade awarded to just 179 wines out of the 18,094 judged.

To celebrate the 5th annual International Aszú Day and outstanding results for Aszú wines, among others from Tokaj at the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards, we highlight 15 well worth discovering this holiday season.

Search all DWWA 2021 award-winning wines from Tokaj here.

Top-scoring Tokaji Aszú for the holidays


Patricius, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017

Platinum, 98 points
Nice quince notes on the nose with orange and citrus over almonds, nougat, honey and dried fig undertones. Concentrated and youthful, quite rich and pure with a lovely lingering acidity. Alc 11%

Juliet Victor, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017

Platinum, 97 points
Beautiful intensity and complexity on the nose with spices and orange marmalade notes and hints of honeysuckle and azalea. The palate is textural, intense and super sweet but with delicious acidity. Alc 10%

Grand Tokaj, Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2014

Platinum, 97 points
Classic, full and complex on the nose. Some nuttiness, spices and preserved orange and lemon notes with forest floor nuances. The palate is very sweet but well balanced, showing power and elegance. Alc 9.5%


Royal Tokaji, Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2017

Gold, 96 points
Inviting youthful nose peach, mango marmalade, quince and honeyed undertones. The palate is fresh and focused, quite layered with a lovely balance and length. Alc 11%

Royal Tokaji, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017

Gold, 95 points
Bright, fresh and vibrant on the nose with beeswax notes, truffle and scents of ginger and grape. Youthful with delicious purity of juicy fruit. Alc 10.5%

Pajzos, Tokaji Aszú 2016

Gold, 95 points
Hints of vanilla and sweet spice over honey, saffron and tropical fruit aromas in the nose. Very concentrated, luscious and rich with a lovely acidity. Alc 10.1%

Paangold, 5 Puttonyos Sárgamuskotály Aszú 1999

Gold, 95 points
Complex and mature nose of sultanas, figs, dried apricots, tangerine and orange blossom. The palate is crisp and nicely balanced. Classy with a full palate. Alc 10.5%


Kvaszinger, Relique Aszú 2017

Silver, 94 points
Tropical fruit on the nose with hints of desiccated coconut. Very spicy with depth of flavour, well concentrated finish. Alc 11%

Hétszőlő, Aszú 6 Puttonyos, 2013

Silver, 94 points
Exceptional spicy nose with succulent marmalade and lime zest notes, waxy and honeyed. Rich and luscious, very creamy with vibrant acidity. Alc 11%

Füleky, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2013

Silver, 93 points
Fresh coconut, honeysuckle and ripe mango over zesty undertones. Fresh, fine and pure with a nice vibrant acidity and persistent finish. Alc 10%

Gizella, Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017

Silver, 92 points
Peach mango and tropical fruit aromas, with plenty of honeyed notes. Elegant and lingering on the palate with a fine acidity. Alc 9.5%

Patricius, Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2017

Silver, 92 points
Pure nose with burnt orange peel, apricot jam and juicy peach character with a touch of warm spice. Unctuous and fresh. Alc 11%

Pajzos, Tokaji Aszú 2017

Silver, 92 points
Vivid lovely apricot with spice, tropical fruit and honey aromas. Very good concentration of stewed apricot and long intense finish. Alc 9.8%

Holdvölgy, Culture 6 Puttonyos 2017

Silver, 90 points
Soft creamy botrytised nose with plenty of peach and tropical fruits. Sweet and delicious, rich and silky with a characterful finish. Alc 12.1%

Paangold, Sárgamuskotály Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2003

Silver, 90 points
Rich, treacly walnut and barley sugar nose, concentrated botrytis, peaches and raisins. Crisp and fresh palate with a complex finish. Alc 10.5%

Discover a top selection of Tokaji Aszú wines for the holidays at Novel Wines, Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 Central & Eastern Europe Specialist Retailer of the Year

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