A true innovation on the classical Aszu wine of Tokaj, our noble late-harvest wine Ilona exemplifies modern expression and precision. Since our successful first Ilona bottling in the 1999 vintage, each subsequent release has displayed a unique artistic expression while remaining true to the personality of its vintage.
Kiralyudvar produces this internationally-acclaimed cuvee wine from select bunches of heavily botrytized berries consisting of the region’s three primary varietals - Furmint, Harslevelu and Muskotaly. After the berry bunches are gently pressed, a slow fermentation in Hungarian oak balances the alcohol, acidity and sugars levels to a harmonious level. The wine then undergoes barrel-aging for a minimum of six months with further bottle-aging under temperature-controlled conditions.
In the glass, this sweet wine ranges in color from straw yellow to deeper golden hues and exudes a full bouquet of fruit aromas. A variety of wild fruit flavors further distinguishes this multi-dimensional drink. A wine that matches impeccably with creamy cheeses, foie gras and fruit desserts, our Ilona is ready for drinking upon release and can also handle further aging in bottle.
Stories of an illustrious history help define Kiralyudvar’s place in the heart of Tokaj and of Hungary itself. The estate has maintained an esteemed place in the wine tradition and legend of the region ever since.
As early as the 11th century, Kiralyudvar - the KING’S COURT - supplied Tokaji wines to Hungary’s royal court. Wine commerce enabled the estate to serve as a financial engine for the 12th century Crusades to the Holy Land. During Tokaj’s golden age from the 16th to the 18th century, the estate’s wines contributed directly to the worldwide fame of Tokaji wines.
Following the 1711 War of Independence, the Hungarian royal family reclaimed Kiralyudvar, where it remained over the next two centuries. After the First World War, the estate was placed in the hands of the Tokaj Research Institute of Viticulture and Oenology.
Our place in the estate’s history began in 1997 when Tokaj wine enthusiast Anthony Hwang carried out his vision to return Kiralyudvar to its past grandeur. Over the next decade, the original structure and cellars were carefully rebuilt while grand-cru vineyards throughout the region were collected and reworked.
In 2003, the company released its acclaimed single-vineyard 1999 Lapis Aszu dessert wine, which immediately established Kiralyudvar as a serious producer and revealed the company’s pioneering vision. This wine instantaneously became a benchmark for quality in Tokaj and also brought a welcomed visibility to the winery.
A few years later in 2006, Kiralyudvar again demonstrated its desire and ability to bring Tokaj wines to even higher levels with the introduction of the 2005 Sec, a world-class dry wine from a region recognized for its dessert wines.
Over the past decade, the company has continued its vineyard renewal program while installing a system of nurturing vineyard practices. Today, the Hwang family works closely with the winemaking at Kiralyudvar to forge the estate’s distinct style of precision and balance, terroir-expression and modern innovation on traditional winemaking techniques.
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