Tasting notes Tokaji Oremus Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2001 and Yquem 2002

Tasting notes Tokaji Oremus Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2001 and Yquem 2002

Let me present you the fruit of a very nice tasting done a short time ago during a cold and grey Friday evening (in the east of France), but in a family, friendly and convivial atmosphere.

The 2 wines tasted were served at the same time, at the same temperature and were accompanied by foie gras.

  • Our first friend is: a château d’Yquem 2002
  • Our second friend is: a Tokaji Oremus Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2001

They have in common that they are both great sweet white wines.

So they have a (very) high level of sugar (> 45 grams per liter), and are obtained with grapes affected by “noble rot”, that is to say grapes having undergone an over-ripening (we also speak of “late harvest”).

wine tasting

Tokaji AND Yquem comparative tasting

These are two long-keeping wines and drinking them after 16-17 years (as was done in this tasting) is only one option among others: these two wines would have been just as enjoyable in 20 years (but significantly different from what I will describe below, of course, since the years make the wine evolve as you know).

  • The first one is French (and has been for a long time THE world reference for sweet white wines).
  • The second one is Hungarian and has also been a noble wine for several centuries (Louis XIV would have called it “Wine of kings, King of wines”).

In short, we are dealing with two very beautiful “keels”, to say it with refinement ^^

Tasting approach

The objective of this tasting was indeed to appreciate each of these 2 wines for what they have of unique; the comparison established between the two thus aims at emphasizing the singularities of each.

Hence the title of my article “Tokaji AND Yquem” (and not Tokaji VS Yquem ;-)).


oremus okaji aszu 5 puttonyos 2001Strangely, it is almost impossible to make a difference between these 2 wines to the eye, without moving the glass.

Is it related to the fact that our two friends are very close in age (one from 2001, the other from 2002) ? Hard to say.

But in both cases, the wine has a deep golden color, with a nice brightness.

On the other hand, a slight movement of the glass horizontally allows us to see that the Tokaji has tears (drops) that take longer to come down. Drops that are more difficult to find indicate…? A higher sugar level ! I am sure you knew that.

We can therefore expect our Hungarian friend to be slightly more syrupy in the mouth than his Bordeaux friend.


It is here that the difference was the most striking for me.

I was faced with two very different registers (and that’s where the beauty of this tasting lies ^^).

With Yquem, I immediately perceived a side woody, vanilla, evoking in my mind certain spirits (like Whisky): it is undoubtedly “the oak barrel effect” that guides my first nose.

Then, more subtly, I feel a great aromatic finesse with a complex and intense floral register (which I cannot describe here in detail… mea culpa).

At Oremus, the dominant flavors are fresh mango (this note has immediately jumped to my nose “the honey, the wax.

Behind these dominant notes, other exotic fruits and floral notes (acacia for example) come to jostle at the doors of your nose.


yquem 2002It would indeed be a shame to stop at such a moment, wouldn&#8217t it? ?

Our two wines have one thing in common: they fill the mouth (we talk about a full mouth”), and give off an aromatic power proportional to what they presented to us on the nose: what I find very appreciable (too many wines have amazed me on the nose and disappointed me on the palate…).

The Tokaji has a more pronounced gourmand side. It is opulence incarnate with a syrupy side that suggests that this high level wine would have been even better with a dessert (rather than with foie gras, as I said at the beginning of the article). We are clearly in the exotic fruit, in the honey and in the delicacy.

A very nice length in the mouth, with a lot of intensity.

Yquem is a little softer in the mouth, less dense, less exuberant. The attack is intense and complex. And the finish is delightful: honey, ripe fruit and always with that woody effect.
And its length in the mouth is simply extraordinary.

How to conclude this tasting ?

I will not venture into a ranking of “good / less good” because as I told you, that was not the state of mind of this tasting 🙂

I don&#8217t regret having tasted these 2 wines together, on the contrary.

2 beautiful discoveries !! That I am not ready to forget.

So wine friends, dare to try the sweet white wines ! They are full of secrets