2000 The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Red Label 5 puttonyos (500ml)

SKU #1024246

#46 on the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2006! 93 points Wine Spectator: "Alluring aromas of gingersnap cookies, apricot and orange marmalade. Sweet, yet deftly balanced by lively structure. Fine lingering finish, where the harmony really shows. Drink now through 2020. 26,000 cases made." (10/06) The methods and traditions of producing Aszú wines have changed little since the 17th century. Aszú berries are macerated with top-quality, fully fermented dry, white wines. Depending on the vintage, the resulting Aszú wines mature at different sweetness levels, although they generally stay within a range of four to six puttonyos (“puttonyos" are used as the measurement of sweetness of the final wine: on a scale of one to six, the more puttonyos, the sweeter, richer and rarer the Tokaji). Carefully pruned vines in first and second growth vineyards, handpicked instead of machine-harvested grapes and barrel-aging for a minimum of three years in 14th century cellars ensures these rich, refreshing wines are always of the highest quality. Mainly Furmint and Hárslevelú with a touch of Muskotály.

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Price: $34.99

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Hungary

- Better known for its paprika than its wine, Hungary is nonetheless one of Eastern Europe's most significant wine-producing countries. Exerjo, Furmint, Hárslevelü and Mezesfeher are just some of the indigenous (and unpronounceable!) varieties most widely planted. And Tokaji is Hungary's biggest success story. Made since the sixteenth century, Tokaji is an extremely sweet wine that was adored by the Russian Tsars. It is made in a manner similar to Sherry, and is reputed to be the longest lived, non-fortified wine in existence (a few hundred years is not unheard of). Hungary's continental climate--predictably cold winters and hot summers--makes it an ideal location for Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon as well. Click for a list of bestselling items from Hungary.