Could these vineyards be some of the oldest in the world? On the same latitude as Chablis, Tokaji experiences a much warmer climate because of its central European location and the sheltering Carpathian Mountains to the north, west and east. This, together with the influence of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers, produces the magic combination of humid nights and warm, fine autumns which result in such fantastic sweet wines from botrytis grapes, similar to Sauternes.
Patricius is very much the new kid on the block, bursting onto the scene in 2005 with a succession of medals, awards and rapturous endorsement. Deszö Kékessy was a Hungarian exile during Communism, who returned to his beloved Tokaji having established a successful business in Switzerland. Little by little he has acquired 150 hectares of the very best vineyards, built a fabulous new winery and employed top winemaker Péter Molnár. Deszö’s daughter and son-in-law run what he has established as a true legacy for his family. The attention to detail is breathtaking: re-planting and even re-orienting rows of vines where necessary, and upholding a standard of perfection in both vine-growing and winemaking which is evident in the quality of the wines, which display exquisite elegance and class, with a fine tension between complex fruit and honey flavours, minerality and rapier-like acidity.
Selected bunches of grapes containing healthy, over-ripened and partly botrytized berries which were picked during the late – autumn harvest. The characteristic varietal notes of Furmint and Yellow Muscat form the foundation of this wine, braced by minerality and zippy acidity for great balance and topped off with an incredibly long finish and creaminess. The wine was partly aged in 220 litre oak barrels for 12 months.
This is a Tokaji with a little more subtlety than you might expect. Made with the usual mix of Tokaji varieties, predominantly Furmint, this is a lightly sweet dessert “sticky”. The honey and fruit flavours of traditional Tokaji are all here, but accompanied by a greater focus on freshness and acidity than is usual. Those who find the full attack of Tokaji and many dessert wines just a little too much will find this a refreshing accompaniment to the Christmas pudding, the trifle, the Christmas cake and the cheeseboard. Highly recommended and at a great price.