Where does it come from?
Created by Darren De Bortoli in 1982, the Noble One has been regarded as Australia’s benchmark dessert wine for more than 30 years. A big fan of Sauternes (one of the kings of dessert wines along with Tokaji); he decided to make a dessert wine in the Riverina, where the family company has been based since 1936. The wine created a sensation when it was released and has become one of the world’s most highly awarded and sought after wines.
How is it made?
The berries are attacked by Noble Rot (aka botrytis), a natural fungus that allows for the production of the best sweet wines in the world. The fungus makes tiny holes in the grape skins, through which water evaporates, thus concentrating both the acid and the sugars in the grape. Each vineyard reached the ideal sweetness levels with the desired amount of botrytis to produce this wonderful wine.
What does it taste like?
The glorious aromas of quince, nectarine, orange zest and nutty vanilla notes are completed by the unusual feast of rich white stone fruits, citrus and a touch of marmalade. A spicy tang of acidity balances the sweetness of the wine and it gives its freshness at the finish.
What should you drink it with?
Keep it for the end. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, have it with your cheeseboard (especially blue cheese). Otherwise, think peach sorbet, brioche, apple cake, fruit pudding or chocolate cake.
De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Sémillon 2011 is available from Waitrose, £19.99