Wines introduced for the fourth Great Tokaj Wine Auction
A total of 27 exclusive, limited Tokaji wines from 19 producers will go under the hammer at the Confrérie de Tokaj’s fourth Great Tokaj Wine Auction on 23rd April 2016 in Tokaj town. Once again we see a great balance of varieties and Tokaji wine styles from dry, late harvest and sweet Szamorodni to Aszú and Eszencia from both large and small producers, established and up-and-coming winemakers. As Wojciech Bońkowski notes, “The latest stroke of local genius is the Great Tokaj Wine Auction: a perfect example of intelligent promotion and valorisation of Tokaj’s territory and its liquid asset.”
These unique contemporary lots are specially chosen for the auction and available in limited quantities only: one Gönci barrel (136 l) of dry wines and one or a half Gönci barrel (136 l / 68 l) of sweet wines. The Tokaj Wine Tasting Committee (Ronn Wiegand, MS, MW, and Gabriella Mészáros, wine educator) check the quality of the wines at several stages from selection to bottling with the special Confrérie label before the next Great Tokaj Wine Auction in 2017. Ronn Wiegand says, “I believe that Tokaj’s best-ever wines are being made right now (some of them are here at this auction!), and it is exciting and rewarding for me to be part of its historic rebirth.”
Participating wineries are Baranyai Béla, Barta, Basilicus, Béres, Demetervin, Disznókő, Dorogi, Erzsébet, Füleky, Gróf Degenfeld, Holdvölgy, Kvaszinger, Patricius, Samuel Tinon Grands Vins de Tokaj, Sauska Tokaj, Szent Benedek, Tokaj Crown Estates, Tokaj-Hétszőlő, and Zsirai. This year we also see a charity lot. Mád Circle producers have each contributed a Tokaji Aszú which will be auctioned together in aid of Mike Grgić’s winery, Croatia, which was severely damaged by fire in 2015.
All Tokaji wine lovers are welcome at both the Auction and the three-day Tokaj Spring events. The Great Tokaj Wine Auction is the highlight of the three-day Tokaj Spring event. Other focal points are the blind tasting of auction lots, vineyard tours and wine dinners organised with other associations in the historic Tokaj wine region. These events bring those passionate and curious about Tokaj to meet and discover the terroir and people who are shaping this UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. New members will be welcomed at the intronisation in the Rákóczi Cellar.
A brief overview of previous auctions. Auctioneer Nóra Winkler observes, “This international auction which began 4 years ago is going in the right direction: record hammer prices, full-house events, wine tastings and elegant dinners.” In 2015 three quarters of the lots were sold and several more than doubled from the starting price bringing a final hammer price of € 100 415, continuing the upwards trend of the first two auctions (€ 67 500 in 2013, € 90 433 in 2014). More bidders arrived from outside Hungary in 2015 (40 % of lots sold outside Hungary, including USA and France) to join returning buyers and newcomers to the game. Also on the increase are buyers’ groups which allow a wider audience the chance to obtain part of an exclusive lot. Thus those who would rather be the owner of a small quantity are able to enjoy wines previously snapped up by larger buyers such as private individuals and businesses, top restaurants and wine merchants/importers. Telephone bidding is an option for buyers unable to attend the Auction.
Most of the founding members of the Confrérie are Tokaj wine producers but membership is open to all friends of wine and professionals who wish to participate in the evolution of the region. The Confrérie receives 40% of the after tax price to part-finance the next auction and for the benefit of the Tokaj wine region, part of UNESCO World Heritage since 2002.
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