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2015 was another unprecedented vintage, one with two faces. The beginning of the harvest, the influence of the heat waves brought fresh and fruit-driven dry wines and deliciously rich aszú berries full of flavour; the second part was rainier, so intense botrytisation gave us many perfectly balanced late harvest wines and lighter, aromatic aszú berries.


2015 was among the hottest and driest vegetative seasons in Tokaj to date. After a very mild winter and an early bud break, flowering started in the end of May, the earliest date ever. Surprisingly the vines withstood the scorching, dry summer quite well and the grapes ripened perfectly.


We harvested for our dry wines between the 14th and 18th of September. The grapes were beautifully ripe, their must tasted wonderfully fresh, clean and full of flavour. This has given us exciting 2015 dry wines.


The dry weather meant Botrytis appeared very slowly. From the 18th September we started our first Aszú berry selection of slightly botrytised but fully desiccated grapes with supremely rich and clean taste. Harvesters were only able to pick just 4 to 6 kg a day per person, but the quality was exceptional. The warm, dry weather lasted until early October when conditions changed and the weather became rainy so the grapes dried slowly. In mid-October we began the second selection of very botrytised aszú berries that were juicier than usual.


We started the third and final selection in late October; we cut all the clusters and removed the aszú berries. Remaining bunches were selected for late harvest wines and base must. The late harvest portion contained grapes with more Botrytis and higher concentration; the base must less or no Botrytis with still “round and healthy” grapes. We finished the 2015 harvest on the 12th November.


We chose the method of vinification most suited to the nature of the aszú berries, different for the selection periods. The September, early-October aszú berries were macerated in fermenting must; the later, juicier aszú berries in finished wine.


2015 has given us a lower volume of Aszú wines than we initially expected, but many aromatic Late Harvest and sweet Szamorodni lots with lower sugar content than previous vintages, but an opulent yet balanced palate.


László Mészáros 


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