Royal Tokaji, Essencia, Tokaj, Hungary, 2016
(at London, 06 Aug 2023)
Drinking Window: 2023 - 2043
2016 marks Royal Tokaji’s eighth release of Essencia, following 2009 last year. The vintage saw a mild, dry winter followed by a long spring and a near-perfect summer, leading to wide spreading of botrytis. Wet weather in mid-September caused some problems but the producer managed to pick a good quantity of quality aszú berries. The precious free-run aszú juice is then slowly fermented in glass demijohns in the estate’s 13th-century cellars. By December 2019, the wine reached 1.9% alcohol, retaining an astonishing 535 g/l of sugar, well-balanced by 15.5 g/l of acidity. Dark amber in colour, it has a richly tropical nose of pineapple, mango, banana peel and maple syrup with hints of savoury mushroom complexity. Great freshness and purity on the palate, boasting zesty tangerine peel, creamy golden apple tart, molasses, and a touch of nuts on the lingering finish.