Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos Aszu Blue Label Tokay is a sweet white wine made from “Aszu” grapes, grapes affected with Botrytis Cinerea or Noble Rot. It is one of the world’s great, and most famous, sweet wines.
After the fall of Communism in 1989 the Royal Tokaji Wine Company was founded in 1990 by a group of foreign investors working with growers in and around the village of Mád. The investors included the highly regarded wine writer and historian Hugh Johnson and it was some of the very first foreign investment permitted in the country after Communism. From the outset the goal of the Royal Tokaji Wine Company was to concentrate on producing only the best Aszu wines with a sweetness level of 4 puttonyos or more. Using the Tokay classification of 1700 as their guide to the finest terroirs, the association of growers and investors produced their first vintage in 1990. The company is also commited to producing some of the finest single-vineyard wines made from the first growth vineyards. The Royal Tokaji Company now comprises 107 hectares of vineyards – a unique combination of first and second growth vineyards, including one of the two great first growths Mézes Mály, along with Szt Tamás, Betsek, Nyulászó, Birsalmás
Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos Aszu Blue Label Tokay is a blend of carefully selected grapes from several of Royal Tokaji’s vineyards, using the 1st growth Nyulaszo vineyard as the benchmark. The meeting of the two rivers Tisza and Bodrog at Tokaj creates a mist similar to Sauternes which encourages noble rot to affect the dried and shrivelled Aszu grapes. Aszu grapes are harvested by hand into 20 kilogram wooden tubs called “puttony”. The Aszu grapes are crushed into a paste releasing their intensely sweet juice and the non Azsu grapes are used to make a base wine. The Azsu is then added to the base wine for a and left for 24–48 hours with occasional stirring. The wine is then racked off into wooden casks or vats for fermentation. The wine is then transferred into 300 or 500 litre second or third fill Hungarian oak casks and transferred down into Royal Tokaji’s extensive, deep underground cellars to mature for over two years before a final blending and bottling. Historically the number of puttony of Azsu added to the base wine in a Gonc cask (136 litres) would determine the sweetness of the wine, these days it is done more scientifically.
As with all Aszu wines, the three grape varieties used are Furmint, Harslevelu and Muscat de Lunel.