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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tokaji Renaissance Tasting, Toronto, October 23, 2007

The Time and Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 11 AM to 2 PM

The Event: The Tokaj Renaissance Tasting (the group was founded in 1985)

The Venue: Chez Victor, Hotel Le Germain

The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers

The Availability/Catalogue: varies. We tasted 10 Tokaj at the tutorial and a
variety of other wines with lunch.

The Quote: "The grape varieties are oxidative. Tokaj can have five grape
types: furmint (60% of total grown) and harslevelu (30%) dominate."

The Wines:

-Oremus Mandolas 2005 ($24.95), dry, slightly oxidative, new Hungarian oak,
aged 7 months on lees in barrel. Good acidity for food.

-Hetszolo Tokaj Harslevelu 2005: 2/3 harslevelu, Late Harvest style with
fresh aromatics, rich mouthfeel, peaches and almonds, stainless steel.

-Disznoko Tokaj Aszu 4 putts 2001 ($30): barrel aged for two years, brisk
finishing acid, very refreshing.

-Patricius Tokaj Aszu 5 putts 2002: 150 g/l residual sugar, candied nose,
okay acid.

-Hetszolo Tokaj Aszu 5 putts 2001: some wood and oxidative qualities.

-Oremus Tokaj Aszu 5 putts 2000: barrel fermented in new Hungarian oak for
60 days, aged in oak for 2.5 years.

-Megyer Tokaj Aszu 5 putts 1999: aged in Hungarian oak for 2.5 years (50%
new), made with 50% muscat and 50% furmint in the putts, with deliberate
muscat overtones. The peach elements make all the difference here. The base
wine was 100% muscat. My fave of the tasting.

-Patricius Tokaj Aszu 6 putts 2000: 165 g/l residual sugar, and with higher

-Disznoko Tokaj Aszu 6 putts 1999: aszu had 70% furmint, 30% zeta; the base
had 90% furmint, 10% harslevelu, Fermented in stainless steel, aged two
years in oak (some new). Good depth and oxidative character. My second fave

-Pajzos Aszuesszencia 1999: over 180 g/l residual sugar, excessively sweet
(needed more acid), rich but not oxidative.

Many of the other wines being served for the lunch and mini-trade show
afterwards were Dry Furmint and Late Harvest wines from recent vintages of
the six members of the Renaissance group. John Szabo has a list.

The Food: from Chef David Chrystian, to match the wines available.

-Niagara charcuterie and Berskshire pork terrine with apricot gel

-braised lamb shank paprikash (off the bone) with gnocchi and bell peppers,
tomatoes, onions

-apple and date strudel with cream cheese ice cream.

Zoltan Szabo walked around with a variety of wines to pour. The clear winner
was a 1993 Tokaj Aszu 6 putts with the lamb! Bravo!!

The Downside: we had about 24 other wines with lunch, but there was not a
list or a real sense of availability and prices. Nor were all the wines
opened at once, which made for considerable "back and forth" to sample them
with the meal.

The Upside: John Szabo described the process.

The Contact Person: John Szabo

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

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