Grape Variety: Furmint, Harslevelu, Yellow Muscat, Zeta
Alcohol Percentage: 3.3%
Viticulture: Vegan Friendly
Rating: 95 Points Wine Spectator (1993 Vintage – 100 Robert Parker Points)
Climate: The region lies in the middle of Europe, at the northern limits of viticulture with late springs, very hot summers and cold winters. In the autumn it is pleasantly warm during the day, but it can be very cold and misty at nights, making the perfect conditions for the development of Botrytis
Terroir: On this south / southwest-facing land with excellent attributes, brown earth with clay strips mixes with andesite tuff. The ground has excellent heat-retaining properties so grapes ripen beautifully and become supreme aszú berries. This last feature is thanks to the microclimate and Zsadány stream bordering the south of the area which provides the humidity necessary for the development of the Botrytis
Ageing: The Aszu berries, principally Furmint, Muscat, Harslevelu and Zeta are first gathered in a tank. The juice is extracted by gravity, naturally, without press. The Esszencia yield reaches 2 to 5%, which means from 1,000 kg of Aszu berries, you can get 20 to 50 litres of Esszencia. Half of the juice is fermented in new Hungarian oak barrels and the other half in stainless steel. The Esszencia is then fermented and aged for 4 years
Special Features: The Esszencia is one of the most exclusive wines in the world. Chateau Pajzos is the only winery that scored 100 points with Robert Parker with its Esszencia 1993 – a true representation of its quality! Only produced when there is an exceptional vintage, The estate has only produced 4 of such – in 1993, 1999 (100 Neal Martin points), 2000 and its latest vintage – 2010.
Esszencia is literally the pure liquid of the Aszu berries that run off naturally from the vats in which they are collected during harvest. The sugar concentration is enormous (residual sugar over 450g/l) and the alcohol level remains low (3.3%). Unlike any other wine, the Esszencia maintains its quality and drinkability for at least 200 years!
Color: Deep gold
Nose: The nose shows very complex aromas of fresh apricot, honey, acid drop candy, that come along with hints of candied ginger and Earl Grey tea
Palate: Luscious and full-bodied on the palate with notes of apricot tart, white peach and lemon, completed by cardamom flavours. Great balance on a long, creamy finish
Wine of Hungary
About the Winery:
Hungarian Tokajis were historically among the most highly prized wines in the world. Long before Sauternes, they graced the tables of European elites and connoisseurs. In the summer of 1991, the late Jean-Michael Arcaute and Jean-Louis Laborde launched the Renaissance of Tokaji. They led a group of 12 wine lovers and acquired Château Pajzos, carrying out the same year the first “private enterprise” harvest and vinification. Today, the 100ha Domaine (55ha of vineyards) is under the sole ownership of the Laborde family, who also owns Château Clinet in Pomerol.
The estate is located in the heart of the Tokaji region, on slopes surrounding the famous wine village of Sárospatak. It was long acknowledged for having one of the finest vineyards of the region. Its volcanic, rocky soils ensure that the native varieties – Furmint, Muscat, Hárslevelu and Zéta – are both rich in natural acidity and concentration and the location between the Bodrog and Tisza rivers makes it ideal for attaining noble rot, indispensable for producing the sweet Aszú wines.
The property is managed by Ronan Laborde and his winemaking team. In recent years, they optimized the vineyard to enhance the development of botrytis, essential for Aszú wines. They changed their pruning method to single guyot in order to reduce yields and advance ripening. Depending on the moisture content of the soil, it is either ploughed or left un-tilled; nets are placed in the fall over the botrytis-affected grapes to prevent them from being eaten by animals.