Tokaj prepares for spring auction

The wines have now been selected for the third great Tokaj wine auction in Hungary in two months’ time.

Freshly picked Tokaj grapes

Freshly picked Tokaj grapes

The 2014 en primeur campaign in Bordeaux is not the only fine wine event this Spring. On April 25th the Confrérie de Tokaj will be hosting its third great auction in Hungary’s Sárospatak Castle. Last month the Confrérie’s wine Committee tasted all the wines submitted from the driest Furmint to the sweetest to Tokaji Aszú. 6 puttonyos, and has now made its selection.

“The goal of the auction is to bring buyers’ attention to Tokaj and let them taste young wines straight from the barrel,” László Mészáros of producers Disznókő, told the drinks business. “There’s always something special and unique to taste at the auction.” He explained that merchants and sommeliers often combine to bid for each barrel which will be bottled after the auction. A typical 136 litre barrel will yield 182 standard bottles of Furmint or 272 half litre bottles of late harvest Szamorodni or Tokaji Aszú.

There will be 19 lots in all , ranging from larger, well-known producers like Szepsy and Tokaji Kereskedőház to smaller wineries like Füleky Pincészet. Loosely modelled on Burgundy’s Hospices de Beaune, the past two auctions have attracted bids from as far afield as China and the States. Half the buyers are expected to come from outside Hungary and include Michelin-starred restaurants, merchants and private collectors.

Most of the dry wines are from 2014, which Mészáros described as “a very difficult vintage due to sour rot, though the quality of the grapes was actually much better than had been expected before the harvest.” Most of the sweeter wines are from 2013 which he called: a very good vintage with fine levels of botrytis producing some very aromatic wines.” The tasting will be the centrepiece of the three day Tokaj Spring (24th – 26th April)

Last year's Great Tokaj auction

Last year’s Great Tokaj auction

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