Beautifully pure Tokay, including dry, plenty of TNs from Hungary


I will write a long blog piece for my new website - coming soon - about this fantastic visit to Domaine Disznoko in Tokay. I first met winemaker Laszlo Meszaros at Vinexpo 2013, with Marie Louis Schyler of AXA Millesimes, the owners. I can but only applaud loudly the excellent work and investment of AXA Millesimes at this domain (as with their other domains, including the super famous Pichon Longueville - Baron - in Pauillac). In any case, after a lovely visit to the vineyards, the reception and vat rooms, we settled in for a tasting of several wines, from dry to (ultra) sweet.

In addition to the following notes posted on Cellar Tracker, we enjoyed a fine lunch at the restaurant adjacent to the winery and had more wines, including a Szamorodni which I did not like - it resembled a vin jaune or Sherry. As much as I respect both oxidized wine styles, they are not my cup of tea. We also tried a 6 puttonyos 2005 Furmint which was delicious but not reaching the heights of the 2002 (see below). With venison, we enjoyed a very elegant “bull’s blood” of Eger: the St Andrea Estate Hangács Bikavér 2009, made from Kékfrankos (Blaufrankisch), Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Very smooth and flavorful coming from a warm but not hot vintage.

  • 2012 Disznókő Furmint Tokaji Dry - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    This may be the very best dry Furmint I have ever had - admittedly I have not tried all that many, as I have only been to Budapest twice and in France it is not easy to purchase dry Furmint … Still, Laszlo was ever professional and helpful in explaining the wine as we tasted. 2012 was a precocious vintage, he said. Picking on 1 September. Stainless steel fermentation with just 40% malolactic, and two months lees contact. I just loved the freshness and minerality. And the clean and pure aspect of this wine. Very little if any residual sugar, 13% alcohol and 5.8 grams per liter of acidity. The salty finish has left, and echoes flavors of wet stone and pear. Excellent - and a wine I will order to be certain! (92 pts.)
  • 2012 Disznókő Furmint Tokaji Dry Lajosok - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    Another excellent dry wine from 2012, coming from vines grown on the Lajosok vineyard, a high south facing slope, with gravel over clay. Slightly higher acidity balances a slightly more ripe expression although alcohol is at 13%. Fermentation in French oak barrels for six months, again partial malolactic. Just 725 bottles of this wine, which exudes red and green apple and pear aromatics/flavors, and a very smooth and nuanced palate, with a salty fresh finish. Lovely! (92 pts.)
  • 2011 Disznókő Tokaji Késöi Szüretelésü Furmint Late Harvest - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    During my intense tasting weekend (+Monday) in Hungary, I came across some late harvest wines that were flabby. As if they just rely on the name Tokaj. This happens in the wine world when you have a strong brand. But Disznoko makes among the best wines I have tasted in Hungary and this was no exception. Although it was not as surprisingly good as the two previously tasted dry Furmints, it was good, exuding acacia and floral notes with a smooth texture and harmonious balance. It was 13% alcohol, 88 grams of residual sugar and just under 7 grams of acidity per liter. (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Disznókő Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    2007 was not a superb vintage, Laszlo explained. But I loved its mineral aspects - very pure and subtle in expression - before the palate yielded spice, orange rind, custard, pear and grapefruit. It was comparatively light to the 2006, which is a superior vintage and which we tasted after this. One taster, Norwegian wine writer Roger Kolbu, commented that he could finish a bottle of the 2007 but not the 2006. It may be so. 12.5% alcohol, 132 grams of r.s. and 7.2 grams of acidity per liter. (91 pts.)
  • 2006 Disznókő Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    The 2006 was to me clearly superior to the 2007, but I appreciate the stylistic differences. Higher in acidity by almost two grams! (9.3 g/l), the concentration was thus balanced, with an overall weightier feel: rich and structured, evoking intriguing spicy notes like clove and nutmeg, along with pepper and white fruits, but admittedly slightly closed. (93 pts.)
  • 2002 Disznókő Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    This is a Tokaj that I plan to purchase. With 11 grams of acidity per liter, matching the 176 grams of residual sugar per liter, it was downright spherical and certainly not ready for prime time drinking - but what a beauty! Made with 75% Furmint and 25% Zeta, with a base must of the aromatic Harslevelu and Furmint, the wine displayed superb purity of fruit and precision with endearing cinnamon/pepper spice, all held together with vibrancy and lift on the finish. Give it time and it will outdo the excellent 1993. (95 pts.)
  • 1999 Disznókő Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    This was a slight let down after the pristine heights of the 2002, but nonetheless a very good drink. Just rather edgy in comparison. But let’s forget the 2002 and focus on the merits: acacia and honied notes, tobacco leaf minerality, and candied citrus, more orange than lemon - and a long finish. Grab some foie gras and go to town. (90 pts.)
  • 1993 Disznókő Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos Disznoko - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    Wow. Yes, that words sort of sums this up. Distinctly dry fruit/flowers like potpourri then fig and dry apricot on the palate, and distinct botrytis derived black tea - and yet very brisk and bright on the palate through to an exciting finish. (95 pts.)
  • 2005 Disznókő Tokaji Eszencia - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    Well it is hard to put a number on this. I would not really consider it wine, but rather medicinal beauty. Unbelievably clocks it at just under 600 grams of residual sugar, with 1.5% alcohol and 16 grams of acidity per liter. The pure elixir coming from the ultra dried out picked berries, this is the essence of the Tokay grape. And for that alone, you can make it closer to 100 if you insist on points. For me, it was not as exciting as the 2002 and 1993 6 Puttonyos (as wines, that is). (93 pts.)

Of the few styles of Tokay I have tried, I favor the style of Disznoko, which stresses purity of fruit, lower than average residual sugars, higher acidities and freshness on the finish.
Posted from CellarTracker

I’ve been to Hungary this summer and visited Disznoko among others (like St. Andrea which you mention here).
Among the dry wines, I must say I liked the Harslevelu (can’t do accents on my keyboard, sorry) better than their Furmint, which was fine too.
Among the sweets we weren’t offered the 2002 unfortunately, but I loved their 1999, 1997 and 1993 6 Puttonyos.
The latter one was indeed quite special and I brought a few bottles back home (being also our wedding year).

Have you been to any other wineries in Tokaj?
We were most impressed by Zoltan Demeter and his wines, both dry and sweet. The latter have higher RS than Disznoko, but are also beautifully balanced. His range of dry Furmint and Harslevelu is stunning.
The visit and tasting to Hetszolo, which included some old vintages of 6 Puttonyos wines, on the other hand, was a complete disappointment.


Curious about the variety of styles/techniques used now for the higher Putt, Aszu-Eszencia, & Eszencia wines you tasted here.

Am familiar with the Royal Tokaji wines (well, 5 & 6 Putt, anyway), & for me they are New Style, with little to no built-in oxidation, & on the other extreme end, the Monimpex wines of the '60’s & '70’s that were sometimes more than decent, but DOA as far as pre-oxidized.

The colors I’m seeing (from your FB pics) suggest Disznkoko might be somewhere in the middle ground between old & new style, if still closer to new.

Cheers! to Great Tokaji in any case!


Rob - if by “new style” you mean unoxidized and fresh, Royal Tokaj is definitely not new style. Quite the opposite in fact, and that’s why they’re my least favorite of the decent producers.

Hétszőlő and Disznókő, along with Pajzos and Dereszla, attracted French investors after the regime change, and along with Royal Tokaj and Oremus, and probably Kiralyudvar, lifted the overall quality of the region in those early years. Royal Tokaj and Oremus are probably on opposite ends of the spectrum - Oremus is bright, acidic, clear and fresh and Royal Tokaj goes for what they think is a more “traditional” style. But that’s controversial and some people think that “tradition” is only the Soviet bad winemaking.

Hétszőlő and Disznókő are somewhere in the middle ground. Both are OK producers. Dereszla is probably the best value and it’s one of the best values in Tokaj period IMO.

But these days the real interest is the smaller producers who are putting out really excellent wines. They don’t have the foreign money so they don’t get talked about and can’t afford to market themselves, but that’s where you need to look for the best wines in the region these days.

And BTW, Aszu-Eszencia doesn’t exist any more. It was produced because of the corrupt Soviet-era manipulation of the wines, but it has no real reason to exist and it’s now a thing of the past. It’s like going to Rioja and putting “grand reserva” on the lesser wine, so to distinguish the better stuff, the producers start selling something they call “extra-grand reserva”. Once the communist government collapsed, the producers went back to tradition. The best wines were always the 6 Puttonyos wines and that’s what they produce as the top end these days. The idea of bottling Eszencia on its own is mostly marketing so Americans can marvel at it. I understand the marketing need, and it’s interesting sure enough, but that’s also a bit of an aberration.

In case you are interested in the position of the single vineyards Weinlagen

Wow! Most impressive.
I could find all the vineyards of Szepsy (Uragya, Szent Tamas, Kiraly,…) and Demeter (Kakas, Lapis, Szerelmi).
Very useful, very well done.

Cheers Rob,

For me, the most interesting wines tasted were the 5-6 Puttonyos and the dry Furmint, which was delicious. I have a hard time thinking of Eszencia as “wine” because it is so extreme but certainly a novel and intriguing sipping libation! The Royal Tokaji 6P 2001 that we drank at the VinCe wine show in Budapest was almost flat compared to the more pristine and precise wines made by Disznoko, none of which showed any oxidized notes, with the exception of the Szamorodni, which resembles Sherry or vin jaune - and which I did not like that much.

Cheers, yes, we visited a couple of other producers based in the hilariously named village of “Mad” :slight_smile:. Will post some notes on those wines later today or tomorrow in this thread.

Thanks. If you find errors, something missing, etc, please PN