TOKAJI ASZU 5 PUTTONYOS - CHATEAU DERESZLA - the wine detectiveWine Of The Week – Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos – Chateau Dereszla

‘Tis the season to discover the after-dinner dessert wines category. The Chateau Dereszla displays a complex, intense nose and flavours. The estate enjoys a diversity of unique terroirs on the Tokaji appellation. This cuvée is made of botrytised (noble rot) Aszu grapes sorted by hand and weighed using hods (puttonyos). The higher the number, the sweeter the wine will be. At 5 puttonyos, this one reveals a lively, unctuous mouth of honey, dried apricots, candied lemon, and orange zest. Drink now or keep for another 10 years easily. Pair with pineapple upside-down cake or foie gras.

Shelf Price: $ 43.49 + tax

Available at BC gov’t liquor stores and EverythingWine stores.


History Of Tokaj

Tokaj (formerly Tokaj-Hegyalja) has long been Hungary’s most famous and respected wine region, thanks mostly to its nectar-like, botrytized Tokaji dessert wines. The region of Tokaj gave its name to the famous wines. The region is comprised of 28 villages ans surrounded by the river Tisza and the river Bodrog that connect at the village of Tokaj. Its history spans almost one thousand years. It is believe that the Celts were responsible for planting the vineyards and by the time the “Magyars” settled in the region, estimated at about 895 A.D., the vineyards were already established.

Tokaj’s fame reached such heights in the sixteenth century that Italian writers documented that Tokaj wine contained gold. this belief that gold could be found in Tokaj is said to be the reason behind the attack on the Tokaj castle in 1565 by Lazar de Schwendit, Marshal of the Habsburg forces. Speculation says that after the battle, thousands of vine cuttings were gathered and taken back to the estate of Lazar in Alsace, where the vines were called Tokay. Early records of vineyard classification of Tokaj date back to 1641 where laws regulated vineyard selection and maintenance procedures such as irrigation and the building of terraces.

Unfortunately, as in the rest of Europe, Tokaj-Hegyalja was hit by the Phylloxera epidemic at the end of the nineteenth century. One year after a superior vintage in 1890, the region was hit by the epidemic leaving the vineyards lifeless by 1892. The vineyards were re-established by grafting vines onto the Phylloxera resistant American rootstock. The grape varieties planted were Furmint, Hárslevelü, and Yellow Muscat.

The new wine laws were established in 1990 based on existing wine laws of EU countries. Presently, the union consists of nineteen Tokaji estates that share in the mission of restoring one of the world’s most prestigious wines to its former glory.