Did you know that Tokaj is 120 years ahead Bordeaux?

Few experts know, but Tokaj was the very first in the world to introduce a whole system of appellations controlled, 120 years before Bordeaux classification! From as early as 1730 Tokaj vineyards (altogether 5500 hectares) were classified as first, second or third growth. 800 hectares out of the 5500 were classsified as first growth. The famous Bordeaux classification took place in 1855 only… (Jurançon AOC in the south of France and Würzburg in Germany had classification even before Tokaj, but Tokaj was the first regarding a detailed, thorough, developed classification system.)

Royal fans, royal owners

According to the legend the first Tokaji Aszú was made by Máté Szepsi Laczkó in 1630 and ’tokaji’ was served as early as the era of Louis the 14th French king in Versailles, in the royal palace, since the epicurean king adored the sweet wines of Tokaj. ’Wine of the kings, king of the wines’ – commented the ruler when he offered his favourite wine to his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. The saying in latin is often quoted as well: Vinum Regnum, Rex Vinorum.

Dereszla Kabar 2015
Dereszla Kabar 2015

Chateau Dereszla is one of the most important and the oldest estates of Tokaj wine region, and – to continue the royal connections – Dereszla belonged to the Hungarian royal court in the 15th and 16th century. Dereszla has its 40 hectare own vineyard and they produce wines from another integrated 100 hectares – which are situated in 25 vineyards classified as first growth. The main vineyards of Dereszla: Dereszla, Lapis, Henye, Hatalos, Zsadány, Várhegy. The different types of soil of the different vineyards are crucial in creating the complexity of Dereszla wines.

Read more about Dereszla

Kabar – a lesser known grape of Tokaj

As you can see from the facts above, Tokaj is a land of history. However, experiments and new ideas are also characteristic of Tokaj! Furmint and Hárslevelű are the most important grapes, even foreign experts get to learn and pronounce these names. Sárgamuskotály, an aromatic Muscat is the third in the line. However, there is another grape with great potential. Kabar is a new variety (the crossing was made in 1967 in Tarcal research centre) allowed in the Tokaj wine region since 2006. Kabar represents only 1 percentage of Tokaj plantations. Exclusively grown in Tokaj, in fact it is an experimental strain previously known as Tarcal 10 that is a cross between Hárslevelű and Bouvier. It ripens at a similar time to Zéta, another grape of Tokaj, but produces lower yields. Kabar has a good tendency to accumulate sugar, botrytises well to become an aszú grape. Kabar gives wines with some linden blossom on the nose and high acidity on the palate. Kabar is mostly blended, however Dereszla produces a single varietal dry wine of Kabar. Chateau Dereszla Kabar 2015 is a perfect example of the variety with the typical linden blossom notes and some vanilla flavour coming from the barrel aging. Part of the grapes for this wine is harvested manually from the first growth Lapis vineyard.

Read more about the wine

 

Few experts know, but Tokaj was the very first in the world to introduce a whole system of appellations controlled, 120 years before Bordeaux classification! From as early as 1730 Tokaj vineyards (altogether 5500 hectares) were classified as first, second or third growth. 800 hectares out of the 5500 were classsified as first growth. The famous Bordeaux classification took place in 1855 only… (Jurançon AOC in the south of France and Würzburg in Germany had classification even before Tokaj, but Tokaj was the first regarding a detailed, thorough, developed classification system.)

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