March’s featured wine takes it to the sweet side with this amazing wine from Northern Hungary! Tokaji is a late harvest wine made primarily from the Furmint grape. It once enjoyed great renown through the entire world, and was a favorite of many prestigious figures including kings of continental Europe, Beethoven, Haydn, and Voltaire. Aszú, meaning tears, is a style of Tokaji that must be made from grapes affected by Botrytis Cinerea, a rot that imparts lovely flavors of honey, saffron, and ginger.
The history of this vineyard in Sátoraljaújhely dates to at least the 13th century, when the Roman Catholic Pauline Order had established a cloister here. The name, Latin for “Let us pray“ suggests that the Pauliners developed this vineyard in that period. During the early 1500’s, the land was confiscated and became property of the local nobility. According to the legend, the first Aszú wine from botrytized grapes was produced from this vineyard. By most accounts, that happened around 1620. The vineyard eventually fell under the direction of the Calvinist preacher László Maté Szepsi, who is today considered to be the inventor of the modern Aszú wine, and today is owned by legendary Spanish producer Vega Sicilia.
This particular wine has “5 puttonyos” on its label. A puttony is a traditional vessel for soaking the grape skins in the unfermented juice. The wine then undergoes a very slow fermentation to extract as much flavor as possible. The result is a concentrated, ageworthy wine that exhibits notes of honeyed apricots, yellow peaches, nectarine, saffron, honey, and yellow flowers. The perfect finish to a meal, it’s like drinking melted gold.
What to eat at Reserve with the Oremus:
The Oremus will pair with many desserts, but I think it would really shine with a cheese board as a final course. Intense bleu, creamy brie, and tangy chevre would be my ideal pairings with this intense, rich wine.
Make a reservation to enjoy Oremus Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2007 soon.