Aureus Reisling 2006

Before anything else, may I raise a glass and toast to my dear host from Hungary, Mickey (as most non-Hungarians call him because his Hungarian name is too hard to pronounce), who gave me this fine bottle of Hungarian wine as a going away present when I left his apartment. I will forever more associate this wine (and all Hungarian wines for that matter) with him.

Aureus Reisling is a wine produced from shriveled grapes. What does this mean (you might ask)? In general, the harvesting of wine grades in the northern hemisphere are done from anywhere between late August to early October. Aureus Resling, on the other hand, is a late harvest wine which wasn’t picked until sometime in December. The effect of this on the grape is that it shrivels up like a raisin as it is dried up, and the sugar content jumps from 24% (which is what you get in a normal harvest) to 40%!!!! The result is a wine that tends to be thick, sweet and very rich (a dessert wine).

The only difference with the Aureus (as one of Mickey’s friends explained to me) is that an addition to being a late harvest wine, this is also an ice wine, which is made from frozen grapes. The effect on the taste itself I can’t say for sure, but I think it may contribute to it’s golden color, giving it the name Aureus.


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View: Gold
Nose: Lime Tree Honey, Marzipan
Taste: For what is normally a dry wine, this is anything but. The silky, honey-like taste sits on your tongue long after your sip is over, and there is a strong taste of marzipan (sugar and almond) that dominate all throughout.

Notes: After pressing the shrivelled grapes, a two-day long mash -soaking took place, then a 2-month long fermentation and a barrel ageing process for a longer period of time.

A unique dessert wine for sure and a very generous gift from Mickey (you can’t even buy these in stores… it helps to be a wine journalist), but I can only take so much of dessert wines until I feel a bit sick from all the sugar/honey. Nonetheless, a small glass of this after dinner would do me just fine!

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