This summer, we have our Fine and Rare Wine and Spirits auction on 14 July. Highlights from the auction are two bottles of 1889 Tokaji Essencia, Zimmerman Lipot (Lots 339 & 340). Ahead of the auction Mark Robertson, Head of Dreweatts Wine department, talks about the history behind these bottles.
1889 Tokaji Essencia, Zimmerman Lipot | Est. £500-1,000 (+fees) per 500 ml bottle (sold in two separate lots)
The Zimmerman Family
The Tokaj region, tucked away in the north eastern part of Hungary, has the most fascinating history of all the wine regions. It was designated a world heritage site in 2002. One can almost distil the political history of Europe in the 19th and 20th century through Tokaji.
As a very amateur historian and a semi-professional drinker... these two bottles interest me more than any other. The Zimmerman Family were one of the largest vineyard holders at the time and were great philanthropists, particularly for impoverished Jewish communities in the region. Tragically, the Zimmerman family were murdered at Auschwitz and plaques to their memory can be found in the village of Mád in Tokaj.
1889 Tokaji Essencia
The free run juice of the aszu grapes can take 6 or 7 years to ferment fully to a maximum 3-7%. This supernatural concentration of sweetness is beautifully married with an unusual level of acidity creating a wine that can age effortlessly across the centuries. Traditionally served on a crystal spoon, what an experience awaits.
Michael Broadbent MW writes, 'Several consistent notes. Most memorably, on my first visit to Budapest in 1972, with Josef Dömöter, head of the Hungarian Wine Trust and Fred May, the UK Monimpex importer. Neither had ever tasted an old Eszencia before. I opened it in Herr Dömöter's office, to great wonder and satisfaction, and took the remaining half the following morning to Tokaj, where, in Tarcal, I had lunch with the technical head of the Research Institute for Viticulture. He didn't like it! Briefly: a deep, warm amber; glorious fragrance, rich, choclately, spicy; sweet of course, plump, concentrated taste of singed sultanas, excellent acidity. Last tasted in Leiden Nov 1982 *****'
These are important bottles and I hope they are enjoyed with a chink of the glass to the man and his family who made them.
Wednesday 14 July | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
This is an online auction with an auctioneer.
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