THE FIRST DECADE
A limited edition release of wines from the first seven Royal Tokaji vintages. Our First Decade.
19 wines from 7 vintages
2,051 bottles in total
Royal Tokaji’s “First Decade” represents a significant part of the history of our legendary region; in liquid form.
From the 1950s until 1990 control of all wine production in the region was in the hands of the State. Quality was sacrificed in the interest of volumes and the deep understanding of the complexities of the unique Aszú winemaking process was lost.
Hugh Johnson had visited the region while writing the first edition of his World Atlas of Wine. He had long considered it an “unpolished gem” which had fallen from its former prominence. At the first opportunity, in 1990, he brought together a group of investors and local small-holders and formed Royal Tokaji.
Together the wines tell the story of our first steps on the journey to revive the great wines of Tokaj.
Aszú wines were always the best ambassadors of the Tokaj wine region. For the first 10 years (from 1990 to 1999) Royal Tokaji only produced Aszú wines.
In the early days we were slightly “ravenous”, producing the wines each vintage – 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993. The great 1993 vintage convinced us to be more selective. Only just over half of the vintages since (up to and including 2020) have been deemed worthy of an Aszú release.
A Unique Project
In early 2017 our winemaking team went into the cellars to properly assess all of our Aszú wines from 1990-1999, our First Decade.
Every single bottle has been opened and tasted. Every perfect bottle was saved and approximately 15% of the bottles were rejected. Each wine was then rebottled at the winery under new corks.
Provenance is unquestionable, the wines having never left our cellars. Every wine has been tasted and approved by our winemaker and our Winery Director, Zoltán Kovács.
This is a release which can never be repeated and these 2,051 bottles represent, we humbly suggest, an important chapter in the story of wine.
Royal Tokaji has partnered with a small group of restaurants, hotels and retailers to allow them to choose their own barrel from our cellars.
The art of creating and blending our iconic 5 and 6 puttonyos estate wines depends on having as broad a “palette” of individual wines as possible.
During and after harvest each parcel is picked and vinified separately. Even within a parcel from the same vineyard and the same grape variety each barrel develops its own personality as it ages in the complex microclimates of our 13th century cellars.
Together with each partner we taste a number of barrels until the ideal wine is found.
The selected barrel is then bottled exclusively under a personalised label. The design is inspired by our first private label customer, the British Royal Family.
Many of our partners choose to ship and display their barrel at their property. The barrel, and the wine it held, telling a magical story to share with their guests.