ABOUT THE WINE
The Hétszölö estate consists of seven vine parcels which were united in 1502 by the aristocrat Garai family, into a single vineyard which would later be granted First Class status in the vineyard classification of 1772. Subsumed into the state-operated vineyards under Communist rule, the company was re-established as a private entity in 1991, with 55 hectares of vineyards, including the original Hétszölö cru, and since 2009 has been owned by the Reybier Group, owner of Cos d'Estournel in Bordeaux. Harvests are always by hand, and the estate does not use any bought-in grapes. Since 2009, the estate has practiced organic viticulture.
An excellent vintage for the region - abundant rains and cool temperatures gave the region the damp morning conditions required by botrytis, and the grapes were carefully selected in a long, painstaking harvest. This wine is almost entirely sourced from the Hétszölö cru, with a small amount of grapes from the rest of the estate. Beautiful, rich fruit aromas, a hint of smoke and dried fruit on the palate, with a long, elegant, almost savoury finish.
Excellent with creamy cheese, especially blue cheese. Foie gras and other rich foods will also pair well, as will fruit-based deserts.
'Puttonyos' refers to the wicker harvest-baskets pickers carry on their backs to collect the botrytised grapes, which are picked berry-by-berry. Historically these would be added to a fermenting wine in order to increase the sweetness levels; modern Tokaji producers press these berries directly. The number of puttonyos is used on the label as a (very rough) guide to the sweetness of the wine, but sweetness levels for Aszû are now standardised in Tokaj, and this terminology is falling out of fashion.
ABOUT THE WINE