Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tokaji with Sebastain Bausinger

Jim Morrison-
What's the oldest Tokaji you've ever tasted, how old, what winery, and how was it?

Sebastain Bausinger-
Nice to see you back from the dead and alive&kickin´once again
Well, just between you and me, the Tokaji I tried was from 1811, the year of the great comet.

It was Essencia, winery is unknown (unfortunately, but probably not existent anymore). My description is a short one: heavenly. Fresh, alive, full of a most elegant fruit, some nuts, a bit of honey...just like a dream come true.

I can add that I was somewhat disappointed in one aspect: it did not show its age at all. It could have been 40 years old or 60 or even 20...it was so fresh, nearly crisp...not the slightest hint of becoming tired or old. It was not overburdened with aroma, rather a very complex yet elegantly medium-bodied wine looking like liquid gold.
All I can say is that it was a nearly religious experience for me, very interesting, very gratifying. My notes from that tasting;

"color of caramel, very expressive bouquet, completely alive, clear&clean, tiny particles of deposit, somewhat oily, fresh/fruity/nearly buttery nose.
Impression of hotness and sweetness, extremely long, intensly complex nose, heavenly, delicate scent, unfathomable depth of flavours which keeps on relieving/revolving around each other, a tiny bit like a perfect Riesling TBA, unbelieveable freshness, does not show its age at all, might as well be 10,20,30 years old instead of its 198years. Perfect happiness! Speechless..."

How about you so far?

Jim Morrison-
The oldest wine I have ever had was a 1937 Colhieta from Warres. It also showed no age. It could have been 20 years old or 10, I would never have guessed 70 years. I drank it with Dominic Symington at Warres overlooking Nova de Gaia. Then I took the train up the Douro and stayed at Quinta do Bonfim in Pinhao. Not a bad day. The food was a little... British if you know what I mean, but the view was to die for.

Garret Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery once told me he drank and Imperial Stout from 1824. Beer like that often resembles Port more than Lager. So I believed him, and I believe you too.

You should post the age of that Essencia on the Tokaji page. Tokaji doesn't get the respect it deserves.

Sebastian Bausinger-
On a sidenote, I read your blog and I agree so much with what you say there. Wine needs to be unique, to show its birthplace and its heritage, not just how well the winemaker operated the spinning-cone-column.

Your day at Nova de Gaia with Symington sounds fantastic, like a perfect combination of wine, place and conversation!
I wonder what that Stout tasted like and how he managed to obtain a bottle. Oh, and thank you for your trust in me. It´s a bit hard to explain generaly how something so old can still be consumable, not to mention with as much joy as I had.

Partly because of what my father taught me. I have a mild obsession with aged wines, including some older Riesling wines from 1948 onwards (so far). 1956, 1971 and 1976 are still very great if you manage to find some (they are rather inexpensive because everyone believes their livespan would be something like 10 years. For some strange reason here in Germany hardly anyone expects a white wine to last longer than that.). 1945 is on my list to bother my brother about, he still got some bottles of that year in his cellar.

Tokaji is indeed horribly underrated and I am hoping Hugh Johnson will change that at least a bit in the years to come. Same with Sherry, dry Marsala, Constantia from South Africa, Madeira - what a drama!- and Commandaria from Cyprus...looks like Port is the only sweet wine left with some esteem. German TBAs and such things are cheap as dirt compared to what Yquem charges for their stuff and their are/can be as least just as good, sometimes even way better.
Oh man, sorry to drown you in my words, wine is one of my biggest loves and so I find it hard to stop when I find a fellow spirit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your extremely funny reportage about the day you met Raimund, congratulations on this masterpice of epic proportions! It was good to learn that I am not the only one drinking too much on such occasions and having a hilarious ending every now and then..the last time it happended to me at Kloster Eberbach Riesling presentation and I ended up saying "wheeee"like every 30 seconds, but thankfully only after leaving the show, quite to the amazement of my fiancee...

Your piece about Elke Sommer, Dre and the most wonderfull description of what wine should and can be is simply marvelous - and hilarious at the same time, just greaaaat!

I already recommended your blog to all of my friends to share the pleasure. BTW I still believe that sooner or later, often rather sooner, wine & profanity can´t be separated.

Angry howls at industrial "liquids" go hand in hand with rough hewn praise of ethereal mana.

How else should one express the bitter feelings building from a bottle of mean, beastly Chardonny and the unparalleled pleasure which arises when you finally discover a new, splendid example of what wine can be...

And boy do I wish I could buy slightly overaged 1. burgundy for 1$!!!!!


December 30, 2009 at 5:02 AM  

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