"I certainly appreciate your thoughtful and knowledgable answer. I know
what a Tokaji Aszu is, and (I believe) I know what Eszenszia is - but
Aszu Eszenszia? Could you explain the term?"
Here you go. These are present specifications. I took the numbers from a
Hungarian supplement to Decanter published just this year.
Tokaji Aszu 3 Puttonyos - 60g+ residual sugar;
4 Puttonyos - 90g+ residual sugar;
5 Puttonyos - 120g+ residual sugar;
6 Puttonyos 150g+ residual sugar;
Tokaji Asqu Eszencia - 180g+ residual sugar.
Tokaji Eszencia. Seldom seen and very expensive. The free run juice that
falls to the bottom of a vat of botrytised grapes. It is extrremely high
in sugar(800 grams per liter is not too unusual). Because of the extreme
sugar content, it sedom ferments to over 2 or 3 percent alcohol. It must
have at least 450 g of sugar per liter to be called Tokaji Eszencia.
Szamorodni is produced from both normal and overripe grapes that are not
separated. It can be dry or sweet with at least 30 g or residual sugar.
There are other styles including Maslas and Forditas that are seldom
found in most export markets.
So Tokaji Eszencia is a much better and more costly wine than Tokaji
Aszu Eszencia, much in the way that Chambertin is a much better wine
than Gevrey Chambertin.
A true 1945 Eszencia that was imported to Austria names the wine on the
label as: "Ung.Tokayer Essenz Anno 1945". There has been considerable
variation of the spelling of Eszencia on labels at different times in
diferent countries. For example, the Baron Beust of Tallya wine
imported into the UK in 1938 by Berry Bros. gives "1888 Vintage Tokay
Essence" on the label.
A 1957 Aszu Eszencia from Monimpex is labeled "Tokaji Aszu" on the top
line and "Esszencia" on the second line. By the way, this 1957 is one of
the better wines sold by Monimpex.
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