Notes from Danch & Granger:
"Setting up shop in the village of Olaszliska just north of the village of Tokaj near the banks of the famous Bodrog River, Samuel farms roughly 5 hectares in this area (Határi vineyard) and an additional couple of hectares on the slopes of Mt. Tokaj. The soils on Határi have a 15 million year old volcanic base (tuffa, obsidian), broken up limestone and clay. With 10,000 plants per hectare (90% Furmint, 10 % Hárslevelű), and some as old as 90 years, no herbicides or pesticides are used and no tractor usage. Everything is done by hand. As arguably the first classified vineyard appellation system in the world, there is over 500 years of trial and error at work in the region.
After a long and slow 2 years of barrel fermentation, Samuel is careful to never hermetically seal off the wine — there is always contact with oxygen. This balance between building good oxidation into the wine brings out an incredible aromatic profile. The wine also finishes so stable that no sulphur is added at any time. While many modern renditions of Tokaji Aszú attempt to limit or completely starve the wine of oxidation, Samuel embraces the traditional practices of Tokaj and exposes the wine to oxygen from start to finish. This intentionally good oxidation has coaxed out spicy eastern aromatics in tandem with a high level of sweetness and acidity. This is not simply a dessert wine, but rather something to throw at anything pungent and or spicy. Money allowing, it’s amazing to deglaze meats and fish with it as well.