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Essencia 2008 - the best of the best
15 June 2017
'My first offerings this year follow no particular pattern apart from the fact that they are the most exceptional things I have tasted over the past few months', writes Colin Hampden-White (below right).

Royal Tokaji wines Essencia 2008<br />

'Some are the best I've tasted in much longer. Frequently, I build my choices around a theme, but with so many whiskies towards the end of 2016, and an incredible sweet wine from Tokaji, I decided to go for the best of the best. So from a very old Speyside to a wine and on to some Highland whiskies, here are some beautiful-tasting things I would dearly love to meet again'.

Colin Hampden-White, Whiskey Quarterly Issue 9, 2017.

Royal Tokaji wines Essencia 2008<br />

Royal Tokaji Essencia 2008 50cl £325 (not including duty and taxes)

Once more I have found a liquid worthy of note that isn't a whisky. This is a rather unusual and rare wine called Essencia, from the Royal Tokaji Company. Created from the free-run juice before the grapes are pressed, it takes six to eight years for the fermentation to complete.

Nose: At first apricots and ripe peaches with hints of ginger and nutmeg. Give it a while to breathe and honey joins the party, followed by sweet oranges and hints of meadow flowers.

Palate: After the initial sweet flavour on the tip of the tongue, the rich ripe fruits flow on the mid-palate. Apricots and peaches, as the nose suggests, are followed by honey and nutmeg. The freshness is astonishing for such a sweet, rich wine and the acidity cleans the palate very well.

Finish: A very long finish with the fresh fruits becoming drier, especially the apricot. The spice dies away to leave a sugary syrup sweetness. The acidity cleans the palate but doesn't take away from the long finish.

Click here to buy Royal Tokaji Essencia 2008 online from Farr Vintners