SOS – Save Our Stickies!
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles standing up for sweet wines
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles wine contest is preparing for its sweet and fortified session in Sicily in September. I am (Ágnes Németh, editor in chief of this publication) honoured to be part of the jury – especially since I am from the country where the “king of wines, wine of kings” are made.
A recent article by Concours team points to the excellency of these unique wines: “The history of sweet wine is fascinating. From once being the most sought-after wine in the world (French king Louis XV called TokajiAszú the “king of wines, wine of kings”), in more recent times this category has fallen from favour, and in many markets its potential is currently overlooked.
Yet when made with high quality grapes and skill, these wines can be just as balanced and complex as their dry counterparts. Their high sugar content means that not only do they keep well once opened, but they can also be very successfully cellared. As British Master of Wine Rosemary George writes, “the best examples of sweet wines are truly original vinous treasures.”
A Platinum winner “sticky”
Let us introduce one of these “truly original vinous treasures”, Barta Öreg Király Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos 2016, a fabulous dessert wine from the breathtaking Öreg Király (‘Old King’) vineyard.
“Botyrtised Furmint berries of exceptional quality were macerated in fermenting Furmint base wine for 18 hours and pressed for the juice to be fermented in oak barrels for three weeks. After fermentation, the wine was cooled and racked, and then aged for 24 months in 228-litre Zemplén oak barrels (medium toasted with toasted heads), made by Kádár Hungary. The barrels were topped up continually for protection against oxygen.” At Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 this wine won Platinum with 97 scores. The panel’s opinion: “Complex and developed on the nose with honey and caramel notes framed by mango marmalade, ripe pears and hints of sweet tropical fruit. Lovely sweetness with a fantastic buzzing acidity. Quite young with ageing potential.” Well said two years ago…