|In times past, Hungarian Tokaji wines were highly prized. Long before Sauternes, they graced the tables of European kings and connoisseurs. In the summer of 1991, the late Jean-Michael Arcaute and Jean-Louis Laborde led a group of wine lovers in the acquisition of Chateau Pajzos, long acknowledged as among the finest vineyards of the region. They carried out the first “private enterprise” harvest and vinification, thus launching the Renaissance of Tokaji. Today, Ch. Pajzos is under the sole ownership and direction of Jean-Louis Laborde, now assisted by his son Ronan in Bordeaux and their winemaking team in Hungary.
Located in the heart of the Tokaji region on slopes surrounding the famous wine village of Sarospatak, Chateau Pajzos "represents one of the world's great terroirs for producing exceptional white wines". The property's volcanic soils, ideal altitude of 200 meters, and South/South-West orientation rate its vineyards amongst the finest in Tokaj. Also, the vineyards' location between the Bodrog and Tisza rivers make it ideal for attaining noble rot, indispensible for making the finest sweet Aszu wines.|
The Tokaji wines are a blend of mostly Furmint, Hárslevelu ("linden's leaf"), Muscat de Lunel and Zéta. A base dry white wine is first made (Chateau Pajzos uses the Dry Furmint they produce), then mixed with Aszu berries (botrytised, shriveled grapes that were originally picked from bunches into 20 liter wooden tubs called puttony). During harvest, it can take up to 30 passages in the vineyards to pick them at the perfect time, as Chateau Pajzos only selects fully botrytised -not just passerille- grapes. Traditionally, the concentration of the Tokaji was defined by the number of puttony added to the base. Nowadays, the "Puttonyos" is based on the content of residual sugar in the final wine. It takes about 44 pounds of Azsu berries mixed with 100 liters of base wine to reach 1 Puttonyos. At Chateau Pajzos, the Tokaji are aged a minimum of 2 years in Hungarian oak (less than 20% new) and one year in bottle before release. They are only made in the best vintages. They are looking for freshness in their sweet wines, as opposed to other houses promoting a more oxidative style.
|Chateau Pajzos Website|
From the beginning, Pazjos winemaking stressed the importance of a great dry base-wine made from Furmint grapes for their Aszu wines. The volcanic, rocky soils ensure that the Furmint grapes are both rich in natural acidity and concentration. The Furmint is bottled in the Spring after harvest. The flavor ranges from apricot to grapefruit, with notes of nuts, spice and honey. The Furmint has aspects that remind one of Viognier, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc, yet it is a unique wine. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif or as an ideal companion to full flavored seafood, cheeses, and a range of white meat dishes, and all Asian cuisine. Its flavors are as appealing as they are original.
|Tokaji Aszu - 3 Puttonyos|
|Pajzos has just released their superb 2003 Aszu 3 Puttonyos. The record-setting heat of the summer of 2003 was present in Tokaji, yet its most severe effects were mitigated by adequate water reserves in the soil (due to the heavy snows of the previous winter) and the moderation of temperatures from late-September through November. The crop was small but in perfect condition, with an even mix of botrytised and raisined (passerillé) grapes -- the ideal combination for the Pazjos house style.|
90 grams RS per liter.
|Tokaji Aszu - 5 Puttonyos|
|This wine represents the true renaissance of the quality of Tokaji Aszu. Chateau Pajzos Aszu 5 Puttonyos has notes of honey, fig and apricot with intense richness plus perfectly balanced acidity. A very complex wine. One of the world's great dessert wines, top chefs have also been known to serve it with foie gras or a rich duck preparation. The wines can also be appreciated with a fine cigar.|
About 150 GR RS with 9 GR acidity.
|Aszu-Esszencia, not to be confused with Esszencia, is an Aszu wine of greater than 6 puttonyos. This rich wine has layers and layers of ripe fruit flavors of apricot, honey and cocoa notes. |
|Made from the free run juice of Aszu berries. Only 2000 bottles are produced in a good year (from 70 hectares of vineyards). The wine has 650 grams of RS but over 11 to 12 grams of acidity. It can take from 2 to 4 years to ferment, using indigenous yeasts that only grow in underground cellars. 4% Alcohol.|
The historic Pajzos 1993 Esszencia, has been internationally acclaimed. In the USA, the Wine Spectator awarded it 99 points and wrote glowingly that the Ch. Pajzos Esszencia is “one of the world’s finest dessert wines…. A collector’s item to drink in small portions, by itself, to celebrate life.” Recently, on his website, Robert Parker described the Pajzos Esszencia as “virtually perfect” and ranked it “99+”.
From Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine: “The most luxurious Tokay of all is made only from the juice that aszú berries naturally exude as they are waiting to be crushed. This Essencia is up to 60% sugar and will hardly ferment at all. Of all the essences of the grape it is the most velvety, oily, peach-like and penetrating. Its fragrance lingers in the mouth like incense. No age is too great for it. What it is like at 200 years (some of the great Polish cellars kept it that long) only the Tsars can tell.”
|From 100% Muscat Petit Grains, this unctuous wine is made with the same complex method as the Aszu wines - but it is not aged in oak. The late-harvest grapes for the blend are affected by the dual phenomena of botrytis and passerillage, which further concentrates the natural sugars. The Muskotaly is at the sweetness level of an Aszu-Esszencia, 192g/l of residual sugar, with 12 grams of acidity. This unique wine sees an early bottling to preserve the vivid, perfumed muscat fruit. |
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