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Royal Tokaji Essencia 2009 (375ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

100 WE / 99 VM / 99 JS / 96 DE

Cellar Selection. Ethereal aromas of peach nectar, apricot preserves, orange zest and candied almonds waft from the glass. Full texture and luscious flavors of caramelized pineapple, orange marmalade, honeycomb, ripe summer peach, and Turkish delight. Its extreme sweetness is held in check by vibrant but not overpowering acidity. Drink through 2059. - MD, Wine Enthusiast

The 2009 Tokaji Essencia comes in 1,386 individual red lacquer hand-crafted boxes containing a 375ml bottle and an obligatory hand-blown glass spoon, which is not there for decorative purposes. It does enhance imbibement, allowing that enormous hit of sucrosity to land straight on the tongue instead of clinging to the sides of your mouth or gums. It has a surprisingly bashful nose for the first 12 hours. Whereas some burst from the glass, this chooses to unfurl and only as if toying with you, gradually reveals scents of fresh fig, Medjool dates, Seville orange marmalade and Clementines. I notice that the aromatics blossom on the second day as it deftly slips into fifth gear. The palate also meliorates, obviously unctuous and yet paradoxically weightless thanks to that acidity. Again, fig features prominently allied with marmalade, demerara and quince, more desiccated orange peel and syrup towards the harmonious finish. Wonderful precision throughout, this magnificent Essencia that will outlast you and I. Neal Martin, Vinous Media

Wine does not get more concentrated, dense and viscous than this Tokaji Essencia, but alongside the unctuous sweetness, it also has extraordinary freshness. The fruit aromas range from blood to quince jelly, but there’s also a slew of spices and notes of flowers and forest honey. Although it barely has 2% alcohol, it is much more vinous than that figure suggests. Titanic brulee character at the huge finish. Just 1,386 half-bottles were made. Should live longer than any of us! Drink or hold.—James Suckling

2009 is Royal Tokaji’s seventh release of Essencia and one of its smallest vintages due to the extremely dry growing season. Made exclusively with Furmint, the 2009 Essencia went through a long spontaneous fermentation process in glass demijohns, resulting in merely 1.8 g/l of alcohol. The blending was finally finished in 2017 and the wine was aged for a further five years in bottle. Only 1,386 bottles were made for the 2009 vintage, each will be sold with a hand-blown Hungarian crystal spoon for serving. The producer anticipates a retail price at £900/$1000 per bottle. Amber in colour, it has an intoxicating bouquet of orange rind, dried apricot and mango, citrus blossom, figs, acacia honey and marmalade with a touch of herbal freshness. With sugar levels reaching as high as 581.3 g/l, the Essencia 2009 is by no means heavy and cloying on the palate. With bright citrus acidity at 11.8 g/l leading the way, lemon zest, maple syrup, more dried yellow and red fruits unravel and linger on. A rare treat that still has decades ahead. Sylvia Wu, Decanter

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