De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon 2016
Grape Varietal: 100% Semillon
Growing Region: Riverina - Australia
Director / Winemaker: Darren De Bortoli
5 Stars ★★★★★
The ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon is a flagship wine for the De Bortoli family. Not bad for a sweet wine that many believed couldn't be made, let alone have a market. Darren after graduating from Roseworthy recognised the potential to make a premium quality dessert wine from grapes affected by ‘botrytis’ or ‘noble rot’ in the Riverina area. Where the family winery is located in Bilbul, Victoria - Australia, with the first being made in 1982.
De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ - is one of the most awarded wines in history - and remains the benchmark of Australian ‘botrytis’ dessert winemaking. The fruit is sourced from their own vineyards plus another they have a long standing supply of botrytis Semillon.
The 2016 season had good rains during January which initiated early botrytis development. This was followed by a warm, dry February and March which halted the progress until the grapes were ripe. Then timely showers occurred just prior to Easter reigniting the botrytis. Hand harvesting started in mid-April and progressively over the next 4 weeks allowing the team to pick each vineyard at its optimal botrytis flavours and sweetness.
Once each parcel was harvested - they were fermented and matured separately to ensure the nuances of each vineyard flavours were captured. And then when blended together - each parcel plays a role in forming the generous character we know as ‘Noble One’. This vintage was matured for around 12 months in a mix of new French oak barriques, along with one and two year old barriques with a small portion left in tank to add freshness to the blend.
Even though this wine is the creation of Darren and he is closely involved. The winemaker for this wine was Julie Mortlock, who has assisted with this iconic wine since 2000.
As you pour this delicious wine, you will be greeted by an amber gold colour with a viscous appearance. This wine has an intoxicating aroma of honeycomb and preserves with a hint of grilled peaches, dried apricots and a vanilla bean accent from the French oak.
The palate is generous with rich layers of intense botrytis fruits including balanced citrus notes, with cumquat, a touch of butterscotch in harmony with an attractive pastry note. Along with honeycomb, apricots, candied tangerine and refreshing lifted citrus notes provide seductive layers to this impressive wine. This 2016 ‘Noble One’ is unctuous resulting from 230g/L of residual sugar, which extends these opulent and luscious flavours, giving the wine a long and engaging finish.
This 2016 De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon has 10% Alc./vol. & 230g/L residual sugar. Chill gently and serve in an appropriate glass at 9°- 11°C.
Drinking perfectly well this season; plus will age well for another 10 - 12 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with homemade passion-fruit cheese-cake with a thick biscuit base, peach or apricot tart, fruit infused gelato, soft, blue cheeses with figs & dried fruits - enjoy.