2008 Samuel Tinon Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos

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For centuries - the same centuries that saw the rise of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, one wine was considered the greatest in the world: Tokaj. Revered for its healthful and decadent appeal, everyone from the Romanovs to Louis XIV sought its charms. (Thomas Jefferson was a fanatic.) Today, Tokaji Aszú is arguably one of the world’s most underrated wines; not by critics and wine nerds, who are cuckoo cocoa puffs for the thing, but by a lack of awareness among the general wine-drinking public (due mostly to a little historical development called Soviet communism - thanks, Stalin!)

But -- it's still ready to wow you, and it's no longer the exclusive right of Kings and Queens. A sweet white wine made with late-harvest grapes, it's primarily made from Hungary's sexiest white grape, Furmint. When left on the vine late into fall, it can become infected with botrytis (also called 'noble rot'), a fungus that shrivels and dries the fruit, concentrating the flavor and acidity into a powerfully decadent wine.

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