Elixir of Excellence: Royal Tokaji’s Essencia

22 Jun 2021
2 min read
Tokaji wine from Hungary is a legend. Tokaji Essencia is a myth. It is rare. It is immortal. It is extremely delicious. FOUR samples this rich and refined elixir of excellence from masters of making Essencia, Royal Tokaji Winery.

At just the right level of noble rot, the berries of the aszú grapes are hand-picked from the vines and placed in a wooden keg. Here, the grapes are naturally pressed, with the weight of the grapes above slowly squeezing out a concentrated juice of noble quality from those below. This is the juice that the prized Essencia is made from. Because of its enormous sugar content (which is always balanced by tremendous acidity), syrup-like texture and very low alcohol level, Essencia is not really a wine in the conventional sense, but rather a unique elixir. It is the quintessence of the grape, with an almost supernatural concentration of taste and aroma.

Essencia is something that every wine aficionado dreams of tasting at least once in a lifetime, and doing so is likely to be a life-enhancing and unforgettable experience. Royal Tokaji was founded in 1990 by well-known author Hugh Johnson and a small group of investors, including Ben Howkins, who were inspired after the fall of Communism to restore and preserve Hungary’s precious wine legacy.

The 2007 Essencia is the fifth made by the Royal Tokaji Wine Company, with the third one being awarded 100 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Neal Martin tasting notes read as follows:

“Once you have recovered from its texture, the bouquet leaves you giddy with honey, stewed apricots, Japanese plum and Clementine – pure and hedonistic, intoxicating. The palate redefines the meaning of unctuous as it coats your taste buds in sweetness: marmalade and orange zest as before, the fresh fig note more noticeable than I remember.

What is magical about this Essencia is how effortlessly, how nonchalantly the acidity counterbalances the 560 grams per liter of residual sugar and avoids any notion of being cloying. It is longer than Wagner’s Ring Cycle, so forget about putting any other beverage in your mouth for the rest of the day. Then again, how could you follow this? The drinking window is not a joke. From my own experience I know that great Essencia easily last 100 years and much longer, yet at the same time, I will not begrudge you from experiencing this Essencia for yourself. You could theoretically use a Coravin to spoon feed the next five or six generations of your family, give a drop to the kids since nobody is going to get too tipsy on this at 1.65% alcohol.

The 2007 Essencia is a ridiculous, extraordinary, absurd, profound and downright delicious elixir that will be indelibly printed in your vinous memory. It belongs in the pages of Tolkein or J.K. Rowling. It is truly, truly magical.”

There is not much more to add. Only 2,057 bottles have been produced, coming in lacquered presentation boxes with a hand-blown crystal spoon. While being widely sold out for some time, there are still a few boxes stored, waiting for dedicated connaisseurs or collectors.

Shop online here and get a 50 % discount until 15 July using the code “FOUR” (while stock lasts) on a 2007 Royal Tokaji Essencia, and discover the world‘s finest selection of Tokaji Essencia, with vintages dating back to the Imperial era.

For more details on Royal Tokaji wines, visit Tokajneum’s website and Facebook page.