Our featured wine this week just appeared in an article written by acclaimed New York Times wine writer, Eric Asimov. Samuel Tinon produces his wine in Hungary’s oldest and most celebrated wine region: Tokaj. The word “Aszú” refers to the dried hand picked botrytis infected grapes. Puttonyos (literally baskets) refers to the ratio of Aszú berries to base wine. For a 5 Puttonyos, the residual sugar must have a minimum of 120 g/l. These Aszú berries are then mashed into a super sweet thick black paste and macerated in a finished dry wine for a month. Finally the wine spends two long years fermenting in barrel, constantly in contact with oxygen. This balance between building good oxidation into the wine brings out an incredible aromatic profile.
Here is what Eric Asimov had to say about the 2005 Tinon Aszú 5 Puttonyos:
While similar, a 2005 5 puttonyos aszú from Samuel Tinon is also entirely different, as if the botrytis had taken the wine in unexpected directions that year. The peach and apple flavors beckon, as does the great acidity and balance, but the flavors seem wrapped in hazelnut and caramel, beautifully fresh and complex.
Read the entire article from the New York Times, “Tokaji Azsu Wines Are a Taste of Hungarian Sweetness” to learn more about the history of this style of wine and how to enjoy them.
These aszu wines are perhaps my favorite sweet wines, astoundingly fragrant and honeyed, yet fresh, balanced and refreshing. Their complexities unfold in gorgeous waves that echo in the mouth. In every way, they signify the sweetness of life and inspire the joy of the holidays.