Royal Tokaji Wine Company

Royal Tokaji was founded in 1990 by well-known author Hugh Johnson and a small group of investors, including Ben Howkins, who were inspired after the fall of Communism to restore and preserve Hungary's precious wine legacy. Royal Tokaji's ensuing success can largely be contributed to its unique combination of first and second growth vineyards, including one of Hungary's two great first growths: Mézes Mály. The winery produces several exceptional wines, including three single-vineyard Aszú wines. Its Aszú wines are crafted using traditional gönci casks and aged in the winery's 13th-century underground cellars. Richness with vibrant acidity is the hallmark of all the Royal Tokaji wines.
Tokaji is the world's original sweet white wine.

Historically the wine and the region were called Tokay or even Tokai in English but the wine is more correctly referred to as Tokaji and the region as Tokaj. The Tokaji wine region also has the distinction of being the first in Europe to be classified.

At the end of the 17th century, Tokaji aszú wines were so well regarded throughout the Courts of Europe that Prince Rakoczi insisted on a classification of the finest vineyards around the 28 villages in the region into: Great First Growths, First Growths, Second Growths and Third Growths.

It was in the last third of the 18th century that Jews settled in Hegyalja in large numbers from Galicia (Halychyna, present day Ukraine/Poland), an event that also influenced the development of Mád. Though we have knowledge of a few families of Jewish origins who lived in Mád at the beginning of the 17th century they only appeared in larger groups during the aforementioned period. Landlords of Mád often called upon Jewish merchants recognized for their aptitude and knowledge to sell their wines.

In the beginning Jewish merchants traded the wine of the nobility to Poland and to Russia at a better price, a fact that only improved their reputation as good merchants. Eight Jewish families were recorded in Mád in 1736 but by the 1770s their number increased to such an extent that by the end of the 18th century they founded a separate congregation. Sources show that in 1771 there was already one rabbi heading the Jewish community.

The economic strengthening of the Jewish community in Mád was evidenced by the construction of a synagogue built in Louis XVI style between 1795 and 1798. In the first half of the 19th century Jews maintained a school, or yeshiva for the education of rabbis. Mád even had a "Miracle Rabbi" whose tomb can be found in the Jewish cemetery of Mád, making the place an important destination for Jewish pilgrimage from all over the world. Jews engaged in the trade of wines produced by the vineyards of noblemen and became later a driving force of development in the Hegyalja region. They also gave birth to a particular, local culture of mixed Hungarian-Jewish origins, that survived until the Holocaust.

There were two Jewish families in Mád - Deutsch and Zimmermann - that acquired significant vineyards and managed to keep them from the end of the 18th century until the years of World War II. The latter family, the Zimmermanns, also owned some of the buildings where Royal Tokaji is now based. The unforgettable events of World War II put an end to Jewish community life in Mád. Most of them were exterminated in concentration camps and the few survivors have predominantly emigrated with only a handful of them ever returning here. (If you are interested in learning more about these tragic events, the moving testimony of Susy Oster, one of the few survivors, can be found here

Events of the 20th century left a deep imprint on the history of Mád. The two world wars, the Great Depression in 1929 shook the entire settlement. Paris peace treaties concluding World War I involuntarily made of Mád a border town. The closest city, Kassa and the surrounding region became part of another country. A slow process of moving away started, being accelerated by the Great Depression. World War II, as shown above, resulted in the destruction of the famous Jewish community. Soviet occupation of 1944-1945 also caused significant damages to wine and vineyards of Mád.

Nationalization carried out in the years following 1945 made the large estates disappear, and the forcible creation of communist co-operatives was to follow. The vineyards of Mád were passed over to the Aggregated Wine Works located in Tokaj.

Wine growing became focussed on the low quality demand of the Soviet Union together with some other "friendly" socialist states. The quality of the local wine was severely affected as quantity overwrote quality. Political changes that began in the years 1989-1990 brought new opportunities to the inhabitants of Mád and led to the founding of Royal Tokaji.

Royal Tokaji has, from the outset, devoted itself to reviving these great wines and to bringing them back to the world's finest tables.

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Royal Tokaji Late Harvest 2016 500ml
Please note this is a 500mL bottle, which is smaller than a regular 750mL bottle!
" Pale gold color with delicate aromas of exotic fruits and spice. Light and fresh on the palate with hints of white peach, the wine is medium sweet with an excellent acid balance, a silky texture and a clean, long , crisp finish.   A mild and dry winter, then a long, mild spring, led to an
Item Number: 28661
Case: $113.70

Royal Tokaji 'The Oddity' Dry Furmint 2015
88  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 88 "Crisp and aromatic, with floral and minieral notes that carry on to the palate, accenting flavors of melon and white peach. Juicy finish. Drink now through 2020" -AN  100% Furmint The Oddity is a crisp wine with lovely acidity. It is complex, elegant and balanced, exhibiting
Item Number: 24074
Case: $179.40

Royal Tokaji Dry Furmint 2013
Furmint (FOOR-mint) is a white varietal grown in Hungary and is the main ingredient of Tokaji Aszú wines. This yellowish-green grape displays a bouquet reminiscent of ripe apples in youth. After aging in wood, Furmint develops aromas of honey and walnuts. Rich in extract, it makes a heady, robust

Royal Tokaji Late Harvest 2015 500ml
A pale gold color that is reminiscent of dried bales of golden hay. The nose is rich and ethereal, with a hint of quince, pear and gingerbread spices and an occasional mint flash. The richness of the nose and palate coupled with a seam of elegant acidity provide a perfect balance with a long finish.

Royal Tokaji 'Late Harvest' Mad Cuvee 2012 375ML
" The 2012 Mád Cuvée is a pale gold color that is reminiscent of dried bales of golden hay. The nose is rich and ethereal, with a hint of quince, pear and gingerbread spices and an occasional mint flash. The richness of the nose and palate coupled with a seam of elegant acidity provide a perfect

Royal Tokaji Dry Furmint 2011
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine and Spirits 94 "Don't be fooled by the price: this may be a fraction of the cost of one of Royal Tokaji's Aszu wines, but it's just as carefully made. Sourced from the company's first-growth vineyards in Mad and Tarcal, this furmint positively glows with flavor, moving from apricot into a red

Royal Tokaji 'Late Harvest' Mad Cuvee 2010 375ML
91  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 91 "A late-harvest style, exuding floral, apricot, peach and melon flavors. Light and intense, with a lingering aftertaste of dried apricot and spice. Drink now through 2018. 1,200 cases made. "  "The Mád Cuvée has a delicate flowery nose showing hints of white peach. On the

Royal Tokaji 1st Growth Szt Tamas 2007 6 Puttonyos
Wine and Spirits 93 points   “From a vineyard of red volcanic soils on a slope behind the winery, this is a shade darker than any other vineyard bottling in the 2007 lineup, with firm, pronounced minerality in its flavor. The balance of earthy savor and honeycomb richness makes it particularly

Royal Tokaji Betsek 2007
95  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 95 "Though sweet, this Tokaji remains elegant, with a touch of creaminess to the texture and lively acidity buoying the apricot, caramel, orange, cinnamon and clove flavors. Very harmonious, building seamlessly to a long finish. Drink now through 2030. 200 cases made."–BS   Wine

Royal Tokaji 'Red Label' 5 Puttonyos 2008
91  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 91 "Aromas of butterscotch, apricot preserves and vanilla caramel lead to flavors of quince preserves and apricot tart. Round in the mouth, it shows excellent structure and delights with refreshing acidity on the finish." - Jeff Jenssen, April 2014  Only 11 vintages of the Royal

Royal Tokaji 'Late Harvest' Mad Cuvee 2009 375ML
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 90"A medium-sweet, racy white, offering dried apricot, candied orange peel and grapefruit notes. Juicy acidity keeps the finish moving, with hints of anise and wild flowers. Drink now through 2018. 1,007 cases made." ~NW

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company 5 Puttonyos 2006 500ml
1  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 94 TOP 100 Rank 28"Superclean and defined, delivering beeswax, apricot, clementine and saline mineral notes that converge on the racy finish. Refined in both texture and profile, with harmony and a long aftertaste. Drink now through 2030. 5,637 cases made."

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company 5 Puttonyos 2005 500ml
1  Wine Spectator 
 Wine Spectator 94 TOP 100 2009 Rank 44 "Slight oxidation adds nutty accents and an iodine note to this sinewy dessert white. There's not a lot of flesh, yet this is intense and complex, with apricot, honey, smoke, spice and mineral flavors that won't quit. This has a dry, chalky feel on the

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Nyulaszo 1999 500ml
93  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 93"A broader style, showing fresh peach, apricot, mango and kumquat notes. There's good underlying acidity, but with sweetness and flesh to match it. Has a fine, refreshing finish. Furmint, H?rslevel? and Muscat. Drink now through 2030. 235 cases made."

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Mezes Maly 1999 500ml
95  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 95 "A touch of new oak rounds this out, and attractive grassy, herbal notes add an edge to the apricot, marmalade and stone flavors. Beautifully balanced and succulent, with a long light-weight and saturated finish. Furmint, H?rslevel? and Muscat. Drink now through 2035. 215 cases

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Szt.Tamas 1999 500ml
95  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 95"Positively electric. The racy style of the vintage shows in this laser-like Tokaji. The searing acidity is matched by intense flavors of apricot, orange peel, juniper, cedar and mineral. Has fine length. Drink now through 2030. 89 cases made."

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company 5 Puttonyos 2003 500ml
91  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 91"An attractive mix of apricot, orange marmalade and mango, with a hint of iodine aromas and flavors. It's compact, with a mouthwatering finish of dried fruit and mineral. Drink now through 2020. 5,200 cases made."