(2017) Disznókő is one of the great names of Tokaji, most famous of course for the fully sweet and luscious dessert wines made from grapes affected by botrytis, the 'noble rot'. This is a new and fresher take on the style, made from the same grapes (in this case Furmint), but with only a percentage of botrytised berries, the rest being harvested late but not with the noble rot. It is also given a shorter period of ageing in oak barrels. The nose is gorgeous, suffused with honey and wild flowers, touches of barley sugar and aromatic tobacco, before a palate that is medium-sweet, still with a generous texture and plenty of honey and ripe peach fruit, but a bracing grapefruit acidity, light nuttiness, and fresh finish with considerable length. Watch the video for some surprising food-matching suggestions and more information.
(2016) A modern, fresh interpretation of late-harvest and partially Botrytis-affected Tokaji style, this is thrilling and delicious in equal measure. Light gold in colour it has aromas of honey, glycerine and delicate barley sugar, the palate medium-bodied but still luscious, there's a delightful creaminess to the texture and the gently exotic fruit, trickled with honey, is beautifully balanced by the acidity. Match to lighter, fruitier desserts, foie gras or simply sip on its own after dinner. Price for 50cl.
(2016) From the volcanic soils of Tokaji, this is a seriously bone-dry interpretation of the dry Tokaji style, with some delicate floral and mineral salt aromas and lots of apple fruit, but then a bitter lemon grip of acidity, that's pithy and searing through the mid-palate, just always constraining the juiciness of the fruit, clamping it in a youthful, hugely vigorous grip. In some ways reminiscent of a premier cru Chablis with its hints of flint and its rigour. Intense stuff that might well age quite nicely for a few years.
(2016) There are a number of confusingly similar wines in the Royal Tokaji dry collection, the more widely available Dry Tokaji (not this wine), 'The Oddity' where Furmint is blended with Hárslevelű, and this Dry Furmint 'Vineyard Selection', a cuvée which is a selection of grapes from the top vineyards of Royal Tokaji, aged eight months in barrel. Such a different beast from the Disznoko for example, nutty, nicely oxidative, with cream and butter and a bold apple fruit ripeness. The palate is deliciously pert and fresh with its racing acidity, but it has generosity and weight too, a certain viscosity with its 14.5% alcohol, and is delicious. Sadly this 2011 appears to be no longer available,
(2016) Majoros is a new Tokaji name for me, and this is a delicious dry Tokaji. I think it must be fermentation in oak rather than just extended lees ageing that gives this plenty of butter and almondy richness and a relatively deep buttercup colour, but it is lovely against the citrus and baked apple, giving a quite Burgundian character. In the mouth fine clarity and that open, vanilla and nutty roundness, fine bittersweet citrus and grapefruit pithiness, a touch of herbal quality and a long, decisive finish. A really enjoyable wine and an enjoyable style.
(2016) From volcanic soils, there's a touch of honey to apple fruit, and it's a very nutty opening too, the wine fermented and aged in French oak barrels from Seguin Moreau. There's a lot of pear and apple fruit on the palate too, plenty of texture and richness, and it has a long and saline finish. Whether it distinguishes itself enough to be worth twice the price of other wines here is a moot point.
(2016) A different wine from Royal Tokaji's 'Dry Furmint' or Vineyard Selection it appears, this blending Furmint with another Tokaji main grape, Hárslevelű. It is very dry, pithy, apple core and herby on the nose, the merest hint of something more peachy. On the palate the story is the same: crunchy apple and citrus just reveals an underlying layer of more unctuous stone fruits, but then the searing core of acidity pushes on. Sippable, fresh and seafood-friendly in a bone-dry style.
(2016) From an estate under the same ownership as Château Clinet in Pomerol, and from clay and volcanic soils, this is a fragrant example of the dry Tokaji style, more aromatic and lifted than some with floral notes and nuances of peach, as well as fresh green herbs and lemon zest. A vibrant and tangy palate too, not as rigorous as the Dry Furmint 2015 from Disznoko for example, but with a little more 'prettiness' and delicacy. Another lovely wine from Megyer to follow their fine 2013. £11.70 for Daily Drinker club members. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2016) Harslavelu is one of the principle grapes of sweet Tokaji, but we are beginning to see more dry white wines made from Tokaji varieties on the shelves. This is crunchily fresh with lemon and bold summer orchard aromas, the merest scent of something floral. I'm not sure if it sees any older oak barrels, but there's something a little earthy and gravelly about it, plenty of lemony fruit again, and a clean, mineral salts acidity in the finish. £10.80 for members.
(2016) A blend of 85% Furmint with the local Hárslevelű and Muscat, this is a highly aromatic wine with floral hints amongst the very ripe orchard fruits, but the weight and fullness of the texture comes as something of a surprise given that character, filling the mouth with peach and ripe apple flavour impressively. The sheer ripenss of fruit leaves a sweet impression on the well-balanced finish, but it is definitely dry with a core of grapefruit the final impression.