MAD, HUNGARY (APRIL 12, 2019) (REUTERS) – A Hungarian winemaker in the Tokaj region known for its golden dessert wine is selling a vintage for $40,000 a bottle, hoping to revive the royal heritage of a wine revered by kings and connoisseurs.
The bottle is a 1.5-liter hand-blown magnum with a special cork made in Portugal after laser-scanning the neck. It sits in a lacquered black box, which shines light through the bottle at the press of a button.
A longer maturation period adds hints of green tea and rose hip to the flavour.
The high cost of the wine is also due to the scale of manual labour involved. The grapes are hand-picked one by one for a daily harvest of just 8-10 kgs in a good year. They are stored in containers where they produce a rich must.
Tokaji Aszu first appeared in literature in 1576, but it was in the 17th century that the wine, also blended into Hungary’s National Anthem by the poet Ferenc Kolcsey, became a favourite of enthusiasts for its richness and complexity.