2008 The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Red Label 5 Puttonyos (500ml)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
High-toned aromas of apricot, white raisin and spices. Supersweet but with bracing but harmonious acidity energizing the pure apricot flavor. At once sweet and salty on the back end, boasting superb retention of pure fruit. Showed a slightly edgy quality with 24 hours in the recorked bottle. (ST)
Shows some intensity, with aromas and flavors of orange peel, grapefruit, clove and dried apricot. This is vibrant and tangy, offering a long aftertaste that introduces smoke and mineral elements. (BS, Web-2014)
Aromas of butterscotch, apricot preserves and vanilla caramel lead to flavors of quince preserves and apricot tart. Round in the mouth, it shows excellent structure and delights with refreshing acidity on the finish. (JJ)
Wine & Spirits
This tastes less sweet than expected for an aszú 5 puttonyos, striking a compelling balance between crisp white-peach flavors and chamomile tea savor. It’s fresh and elegant, a restrained Tokaji that’s savory enough to pour at a celebratory holiday meal of braised duck with apricots.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Tokaji Aszu Red Label 5-Puttonyos (known as “Blue Label” everywhere else apart from the United States) has an attractive, comparatively uncomplicated bouquet with notes of dried honey, wax resin and a smear of marmalade. The palate is actually better than the nose, with pleasant, nutty, honeyed fruit (marmalade and quince to the fore), although the finish is a little abrupt. Still, for the price, this is a perfect introduction to the delights of Tokaji Aszu. (NM)
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.