Essencia, Tokaj – 2007
Essencia is the wine-world’s rarest gem — a status it has enjoyed for over 300 years.
Mere “wine” merits a glass; Essencia deserves its own ritual: A hand-made crystal spoon allows you to savor each drop.
This unique elixir is almost eternal and, if you can resist, will evolve for generations to come.
Vintage Notes and Vinification
The year held many challenges but Royal Tokaji is delighted by the 2007 Essencia, the fifth vintage to be released.
Winter was mild but very dry with no frost to speak of. Spring was dry and warm until the end of May when the heavens opened, causing Royal Tokaji to expect a long, wet and cold blossoming in June as this had been the pattern of the previous three years. Nature, ever-fickle however, surprised the winery and the region enjoyed a hot and dry summer with hardly any rain at all. Veraison was particularly early, but a rainy September put paid to the expected early harvest. A cold and wet autumn was followed by a miraculous Indian summer in early October. With alternating wet and dry days and a fair wind, the conditions were perfect for the development of botrytis. Between October and November the “aszúzás” took place, the process whereby the pickers hand-pick the selected Furmint, Hárslevelü and Yellow Muscat grapes, each with the perfect level of Botrytis, one by one.
The free-run juice of these shriveled berries is Essencia, the purest essence of the grape. Each half-bottle requires approximately 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of hand-selected aszú berries.
Traditional winemaking does not apply to Essencia. The concentration of sugar is so high that no yeast can survive in the body of the wine. Only on the surface where the hydroscopic nature of the juice has drawn in water from the surroundings can a natural fermentation take place. Even here the yeasts struggle. This wine achieved its 1.65 percent alcohol after seven long years of fermentation in a demijohn in Royal Tokaji’s dark, damp, cool cellars.
- Appellation: Tokaj
- Aging: 7 years in glass demijohns
- Varietal Composition: Primarily Furmint with some Hárslevelü and a small percentage of Muscat
- Production (in cases): 2,057 bottles (1/375ml)
- Alcohol: 1.65%
- TA: 10.1g/L
- RS: 560g/L
Light straw in color. Fresh apricot and tea on the nose. A lovely, full-bodied wine with a beautiful balance. Fresh apricot on the palate, too. The high sugar content is well balanced with the very fine and elegant acidity. Dried fig and plum jam aromas on the finish.
Royal Tokaji Essencia, Tokaj – 2007 – Vinous – 100 Points
The 2007 Essencia is the fifth made in the modern era, and it continues to defy the definition of wine. It gloops onto the spoon, the best way to consume this astonishing elixir. The palate electrifies the senses with almost overwhelming sweetness of apricot, Japanese plum and marmalade, while the acidity miraculously keeps everything on an even keel – not easy to do with a payload of 560gm/L residual sugar! Profound and probably destined to last for eternity. You can even drive home afterwards thanks to the 1.65% alcohol. Tasted at a private dinner in Hong Kong.
Essencia, Tokaj – 2007 – 100 points – eRobertParker.com
“…You cannot help but laugh at the sheer audacity of its syrupy pour into your glass or preferably on to a spoon…the bouquet leaves you giddy…a ridiculous, extraordinary, absurd, profound and downright delicious elixir…It is truly, truly magical.”