Tag Archives: Tokaj

2014 Harvest Report – Disznókő (Tokaj)

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After the news from Bordeaux and Burgundy, here are the reports on 2014 from Quinta do Noval, Disznókő and Mas Belles Eaux.

László Mészarós of Disznókő, Tokaj:

« We finished the harvests on the 30th October. We have never finished so early: we have never finished before in October.

Because of the pressure of humidity, we were not able to wait any longer.

The volume produced was very small. We managed a global yield of only 5 hectolitres per hectare. We will have around 500 hl of wines. Only ten days earlier we would not have thought to have produced so little. It is about half of what I would have estimated at the beginning of the harvest.

Fortunately, the majority of the harvest will be made up of Aszú wines, very good, much more marked by Botrytis than usual, and less passerillés.

We have been working with them above all by maceration in made base wines, wines that have finished their fermentation.

It was a very difficult vintage in Tokaj, with a strong Oidium pressure in the summer, and above all an attack of rot (the wrong kind) from the end of August that gave us a lot of trouble. We have to acknowledge that we had too much rain also this autumn.

We began the maceration of the Aszús on the 29th October. After ten days of maceration, we obtained 14 lots in total.

I think we have after all some lovely Aszú wines this year, not very rich, but with a good acidity and freshness and some lovely aromas.”

Read the 2014 Harvest Reports of the other properties :

Harvest Time at Château Pichon Baron

2014 Harvest Report – Château Suduiraut (Sauternes)

2014 Harvest Report – Château Petit-Village (Pomerol)

2014 Harvest Report – Domaine de l’Arlot (Bourgogne)

2014 Harvest Report – Quinta do Noval (Douro)

2014 Harvest Report – Mas Belles Eaux (Languedoc)

2014 Harvest in our properties: Conclusion

Selection and Blending Tokaj Disznókő 2011 (Video)

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In February, I spent a few days in Disznókő, our hungarian vineyard, for blending session with the local team. It is a crucial moment to define the style we want in our wines. I really like this 2011 vintage and I think it is one of the greatest vintage we have ever made at Disznókő.

If you have trouble watching this video, view the web version here

Disznókő vineyard
Disznókő vineyard

The vintage of 2012 at Disznókő – Tokaj

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Start of botrytisation, September 17th

Here in Bordeaux harvest has just begun. We will speak further about the potential of the reds next week. The subject today is the great “vins liquoreux” of Sauternes and Tokaj. At Château Suduiraut we are waiting for the arrival of the Botrytis, with an excellent quality potential on the vines. The absence of Botrytis so far is actually quite positive in Bordeaux: it means we have been able to take our time with the reds and give them some extra days ripening before beginning the harvest. So I am sure the team at Château Suduiraut will understand if I say that we can still wait a few more days before Botrytis conditions arrive, so that we can bring in what looks like an excellent red wine harvest before beginning in Sauternes.

However, in Tokaj, they have already begun, and have harvested some seriously good aszú berries. László Mészáros, the talented Director of Disznókő, has matters well in hand, and sent me over the attached analysis of the harvest until today, which I hope will give you a picture of how the year has been in Tokaj, and how things are going so far. All the signs are encouraging!

Christian Seely

The situation for the vintage 2012 is, at the moment, very similar to that of 2011. There has been:

- an extremely hot and dry summer

- early ripening, but a very slow settling of Botrytis and development of botrytised berries.

Winter was mild but it lasted for a relatively long time. Bud break was late, starting on 23rd April but, because of the hot and dry late spring, blossoming was earlier than usual, at the end of May.

The summer was extremely hot and dry, reaching nearly 40 ˚C several times.
By the end of August the grapes were almost already ripe.

The first day of the harvest for Dry Furmint, September 10th

The grapes for dry wines were harvested from the 10th to the 13th of September, earlier than ever. We picked very ripe and healthy grapes, with still remarkably fresh acidity. Most have just completed their fermentation, producing well-balanced and fresh wines with good acidity.

The Botrytis arrived very slowly on the Furmint grapes and resulted in the first aszú grapes being ready to pick by the 11th of September.

Furmint Aszu grapes, September 13th

These bunches are the result of a particularly fine botrysation along with intense shriveling, or passerillage, of the Furmint grapes.

Zéta on 28th August

Oddly, the Zeta vines, always the first to provide remarkable quantity of aszú grapes, have remained healthy till today (beginning of October).

Botrytisation develops, September 27th

The rains that arrived in mid-September have intensified the development of Botrytis on the Furmint.

Aszu grape picking, September 13th

The harvesting of aszú grapes is underway. We are collecting aszú berries that are particularly fine and concentrated in the central slopes on the west side.

László Mészáros

Muscat aszu grapes, September 11thFurmint aszu grapes, September  11th


A very short trip to Tokaj last week to work on the blend for the 2008 Aszú wines of Disznókő

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It is a lovely year. We made a very small quantity of a very fine Six Puttonyos, but overall the equilibrium seemed just great for a Five Puttonyos. I loved the balance of this year, the wines were fresh, intense, long and fine. Definitely a vintage to look out for when it comes on the market.

We profited from the occasion to taste a vertical of six Puttonyos from Disznókő, going back to 1993. The picture shows the remarkable colour variations from year to year, which reflects the strong style difference that each harvest brings. They were all delicious of course, but the stars for me were 2002, lovely pure intense and long, but needing time, as much as you can give it, in the cellar; 2000, completely different style, fresh spicy, open and seductive, great to drink now; and the extraordinary 1993, still a young baby.

Disznoko Tokaji aszu 6 puttonyos

Harvest 2010 – Conditions in general

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Now that we have had some time to taste and retaste the wines of the remarkable 2010 vintage in Bordeaux, it is time to post a harvest report. The rumours you may have been hearing are perfectly justified: 2010 is an outstanding year in Bordeaux. I give below a summary of how things went in all of our vineyards, in Bordeaux and elsewhere.

Bordeaux – grape sorting at Château Pichon-Longueville - Pauillac
Bordeaux – Grape sorting at Château Pichon-Longueville - Pauillac
In Bordeaux, even if the end of spring and summer were relatively dry, the vines showed no signs of stress.The harvest of 2010 has given birth to a vintage that will undoubtedly take its place at the summit of any vintage classification, with an exceptional maturity. From an analytical point of view there are record breaking levels of ripeness in terms of sugar levels and also of polyphenols. In a somewhat different style, it will unquestionably bear comparison with its predecessor, the great 2009 vintage.

A great year for the dry whites and the reds, but also for the liquoreux, with a perfect late arrival of botrytis that enabled us to harvest an impressive 2nd and 3rd trie.

In the Languedoc, summer was extremely dry. Thanks to our first year of installation of irrigation on half the Belles eaux vineyard, we were able to optimise quality. Here also, 2010 will be a lovely year.

Burgundy - The harvest at Domaine de l’Arlot - Nuits Saint Georges
Burgundy - The harvest at Domaine de l’Arlot - Nuits Saint Georges

Burgundy was a little less fortunate, with a terrible winter and severe frosts that caused severe damage in certain climates, leading to a reduction in yields that an irregular floraison did nothing to help. Very low yields therefore, but a beautiful maturity for these 2010, and some lovely wines in spite of the difficulties earlier in the year.

Tokaj – Disznókő – Picking of the Aszú grapes
Tokaj – Disznókő – Picking of the Aszú grapes

No drought in Tokaj, rather the contrary, with 800 mm of rain between april and mid September. A difficult year with a lot of disease problems, very weak “sortie” and a chaotic floraison, all combiing to give us an historially low yield. But the Aszús we were able to harvest will enable us to produce all the same a harvest in the style of 2004, aromatic and vivacious, with a structure marked by finesse and elegance rather than by power.

Douro - Quinta do Noval – Foot treading in the lagares
Douro - Quinta do Noval – Foot treading in the lagares

In the Douro we harvested an impressive volume of the kind not seen since 2007. This significant production gave all the same wines that are very pure, elegant, aromatic and structures, both for Port wine and for Douro reds.