The Wine of Kings, the King of Wines
While entertaining Madame de Pompadour at Versailles, King Louis XV of France created history when he served her, “The wine of kings, the king of wines.” Today, Tokaji is firmly back on its throne, seriously challenging First Growth Sauternes for the mantle of greatest sweet wine on earth. There are few better examples that demonstrate the brilliance of Tokaji than the 2008 Disznóko 5 Puttonyos, which earned a jaw-dropping 96 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Grown exclusively on the Disznóko estate — declared a Tokaji First Growth in 1772 — the Advocate describes this nectar as having an “exceptional bouquet” of “Satsuma and mandarin, quince and marmalade.” This “outstanding 5 Puttonyos” wine comes with the Advocate’s highest recommendation. Just $42 on Wine Access per 500ml bottle — the best delivered price in the U.S.
The Hungarian growing region of Tokaji has an unequaled history. Wines made from the aszú grapes — the shriveled, botrytis-affected grapes that thrive in Tokaji’s volcanic soils and moist climate — have been lauded as Europe’s finest for 400 years. In 1772, nearly a century before France’s landmark 1855 Bordeaux classification, the fog-shrouded vineyards of Tokaji were ranked First through Third Growth. Since then, Disznóko has sat atop nearly all others as a First Growth.
After suffering under communist control, Tokaji has been resurgent, and no producer better exemplifies that return to glory than Disznóko. Purchased in 1992 by the owners of Pauillac Second Growth Château Pichon Baron as well Sauternes Premier Cru Classé Château Suduiraut, the fact that the stewards of these iconic Bordeaux estates looked east to Disznóko speaks volumes about Disznóko’s peerless terroir.
Made in a painstaking process from aszú grapes that are picked individually in multiple vineyard passes, macerated, then aged for two years in oak, the 2008 5 puttonyos is perfectly mature, with another decade to go.