„Talking about fame and reputation, there is one aspect that is worth so much more than aggressive marketing and actual quality. History. Tokaj knows that for sure. How else can we explain the fact that when consumers hear the name of the region being mentioned, the immediate association is sweet wines? In a region where the annual production of Aszú wines is less than one percent of the region’s total output! Yes, it used to be a lot more, but still, history plays a major part in the consumers perception of a wine.
A lot of the Aszú wines sold are to be frank, pretty dull. Nothing unique for the Tokaj region, this happens in other regions as well, where there is a well-known name one can take advantage of. Just ask Sauternes. István Szepsy though, is all about quality. Working with extremely low yields for his Aszú wines, hand selected grapes and top vineyard sites, he is one of the reference points for just how great Tokaj wines can be. Sadly, few have tasted his wines and for many they are what d’Yquem is to Sauternes; unreachable.
The 2005 6 puttonyos Aszú from Szepsy is a real treat. It doesn’t reach the greatness of the 2006 which could be the best István has produced, but then again, Tokaj thankfully has vintage variation. The 2005 Aszú harvest took place in November and the yield was lower than normal. The grapes István chose from some of the best sites in the whole of Tokaj; Danczka, Király, Lapis, Szent Tamás and Úrágya. Furmint mostly, backed up by Harslevelü and a dash of Muskotály.
The Virtusoso says: magical.”