According to tradition, it was made by reformed priest Máté Szacsi Laczkó on Easter 1631 for Asz’s first mistress, Zsuzsanna Lorántffy. He probably already felt that he made a unique wine, and that Alaszi had been on a successful path for centuries.
Antal Kneipp, an employee of the Institute for Grape-Cultivation and Fermentation Research in the Tokaj wine region, has been working for several years to learn in detail the rich aroma components of Tokaj wine. On the question of what makes Asz so special, he mentioned a number of necessary factors together, starting with the assimilation that takes place under the right climatic conditions, that is, the process of noble rot, which Botrytis cinerea It is caused by a fungus called.
Starting point: pickling potretes
But what is Botrytis? The emergence of a fungus called Protestant gray rot in most cases means an unwanted rot process for wine growers, but in some parts of the world, where the climate is well suited, such as the Tokaj wine region, it can turn into noble rot. Dressing does not occur every fall on individual plantings, so asses cannot be made in any year. However, if conditions are so, the dry, sunny weather after the wet dawn allows the fungus to spread across the grapes, producing an astonishing concentration of flavor, sugar and acid when the grains crumble. This concentration intensifies the dozens of scents in various grapes.
The presence of the correct grape variety is also a prerequisite, since not all of them are capable of noble rot. It is no coincidence that the varieties whose proper morphology and skin structure enable this process are widespread in Tokaj, such as mint, linden, yellow cats, and varieties grown in a much smaller area: zeta, fat grape and cabaret.
Continuing the line, the researcher also mentions the details of the production site, which in the case of Tokaj means not only the soil formed on the volcanic rock, but also, among other things, the natural water surfaces and the rivers that provide the morning fog.
During the individual winemaking process, asz grains are added to the must fermentation or to the final base wine. Soaking the botrytis kernels leads to re-fermentation and this results in the wine’s natural sweetness, which means at least 120 g / liter of sugar left in the finished wine.
Az aszúk címkéjén látható puttonyszám jelölés az aszúbor édességére utal - 2013 óta csak 5 vagy 6 puttonyosnak megfelelő maradékcukrot tartalmazó aszúk készíthetők. Ezek a számok az egykor használt mértékegységekre utalnak, amikor az egy gönci hordónyi, azaz 136 liter borhoz kevertek annyiszor 25 kg aszúszemet - lévén egy puttonyba ennyi töppedt szemet szüreteltek – ahány puttonyos aszút szerettek volna végeredményül.
Antal Kneipp asserts that all of the above factors and their interactions influence the taste and aroma properties of the wine. Unique scent ingredients are actually created in the grapes and the natural sweet wines made from them. It is no coincidence that wine connoisseurs not only discover the taste of apricots, they often discover grapefruit or even passion fruit when tasting asszo: Nearly 80 components of volatile aroma have been identified in Tokaj Asszo wine through informative studies. In short, “The unique aroma world of Tokaj specialties is essentially a Botrytis cinerea Because of its noble rotting and long-term ripening in small wooden barrels and bottles. “
But how do bananas get into wine?
Lactones are responsible for the chocolate leaves, peaches, vanilla, and coconut, which often appear among the notes of aleszo, as well as flavors such as breadcrumbs, caramel, sugar cane, or maple syrup. On the other hand, some thiol compounds are due to the appearance of different types of fruit aromas, so that tropical fruits such as passion fruit or often citrus fruits like lemon or grapefruit can bounce back from the wine in the cup.
In addition to lactones and thiols, the third main group are unsaturated alcohols, one of which, mild alcohol, brings into wine a mild and fresh scent of mushrooms (and sometimes the scent of truffles), making it even more. Complicated. Smell asz.
This is not the end of the line: a Botrytis cinerea On diffusion, aldehydes are also formed, resulting in nutty scents that are often felt, while aldehydes are enriched with aromas that resemble hazelnuts, tea and tobacco.
Thus, each scent component can correspond to a compound whose molecules can be detected in the botrytis berries or the wine made from them. Even if these ingredients do not always reach the threshold of the sensory, that is, they cannot be detected by the taste of the aroma, Even the smallest amount of volatile aromatic substances can be captured by so-called gas chromatography. For this purpose, a sample of wine is placed in the apparatus, which is slowly evaporated so that the particles can be detected and identified. It is almost absurd that the researcher could identify the discovered isomyl acetate, for example, as one of the flavor components of a banana.
Identifying aromas is also a great way to study a type of grape, such as mint in its zenith, because even in the case of a variety with a more neutral taste, the scent components that make up the character of the variety can be identified. The varied aromas and flavors identified in this way can be well highlighted through appropriate vineyard practices and ethnology and can be further emphasized in the final wine. This is, after all, one of the primary goals of the winemaker, also in line with increasingly sophisticated consumer needs.
Aszú, admired by Tsar Peter the Great, Goethe and Beethoven, is no longer by chance one of the main messages of the Tokaj wine region to this day. Specialty wine that has been the subject of much research still holds surprises, but as science develops, a glass of wine is revealing more and more about its rich ingredients.
Posted by: Szucs-Balas Vera
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