Aszu means “rotten” (botrytis affected). The puttonyos is a weight measure, but translates to minimum sugar levels, with wines matured for at least three years before release including at least tow years in oak).
3 puttonyos 60 – 90g/l
4 puttonyos 90 – 120 g/l
5 puttonyos 120 – 150 g/l
6 puttonypos 150 – 180 g/l
Aszu eszencia 180 – 450 g/l
Escenzia 450 g/l (and I’ve never tried one of these)
The Royal Tokaji company’s website gives deep information about history, production and so on.
The Tokaji I have tried over the years had levels of oxidation (bruised apple etc ) that I found unacceptable, so this wine was a triumph of hearsay over experience; and I was very pleasantly surprised.
Bright gold in colour, the wine has floral apricot, marmalade and honey characters. The palate is similar- apricot jam, quince, red apple, fruitcake spices and a touch of ripe pineapple. (75% Furmint, 25% Hárslevulu, and 155 g/l residual sugar). With this abundant residual sugar, but plentiful acidity, the wine is winningly vibrant. It’s concentrated but with a different mouthfeel to a Sauternes. Oak is obliterated here by the fruit depth and acidity.
It’s a terrific experiment, worth 92 points and drink to 2026 (a guess with my inexperience of this style),