De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon - 40th Anniversary. 22 April 2022.

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of one of the worlds’ most awarded and iconic dessert wines, the De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon, with the first vintage crafted back in 1982. Darren De Bortoli has always been inquisitive and ambitious - and it was this drive that helped imagine and then produce this iconic Australian Botrytis Semillon, the ‘Noble One’, a sweet wine no-one believed could be made with any success in Australia.
Darren - the third generation and current managing director of the family wine company, returned to the family estate in Griffith after reluctantly going to study and achieving a Bachelor of Applied Science in Oenology at the Roseworthy Agricultural College. Darren immediately saw the potential in what was then viewed as a catastrophically rotten vintage in the Riverina area. Originally labelled De Bortoli Semillon Sauternes in its early vintages, it later became ‘Noble One’. I briefly commented before on its accolades around the globe, so far in international wine shows ‘Noble One’ has been awarded more than 180 Trophies and over 500 Gold Medals.
The winemaker now in charge of crafting ‘Noble One’ is Julie Mortlock, who is the senior winemaker at the Riverina winery and has been assisting Darren with this wine for 22 years. With each release the degree of botrytis infection on the bunches fluctuates according to seasonal conditions, but to date only two vintages have not been made over the past 40 years, these being the 1989 and 2012. The ‘Noble One’ remains a benchmark for ‘Botrytis’ dessert winemaking the world over.


De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon 2018
Grape Varietal: 100% Semillon
Growing Region: Riverina - Australia
Senior Winemaker: Julie Mortlock
5 Stars ★★★★★

In the glass you will be spellbound by an alluring pale gold colour and shining hue. You are then engaged by lifted aromas of apricot marmalade with hints of honey comb and fig. The complex palate is a tapestry of ripe nectarines and peaches, mandarin zest, orange blossom, along with a touch of wild honey and vanilla. All of this intensity of sweetness is beautiful balanced by natural fruit acidity framing perfectly this stunning dessert wine.
This 2018 ‘Noble One’ Semillon has 10% Alc./vol. Residual Sugar of 240g/L.

• Serve at 9°- 11°C : Can cellar for another 14 - 16 years : *Retail 375ml - NZ$39.99


De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon 2017
Grape Varietal: 100% Semillon
Growing Region: Riverina - Australia
Senior Winemaker: Julie Mortlock
5 Stars ★★★★★

You will be hypnotised by a brilliant gold colour and alluring hue. The nose on this wine is far from shy, proudly showcasing grilled peaches dusted with cinnamon and French nougat aromas, with a subtle hint of wild honey. The palate is rich, complex, unctuous and has a generosity that is a signature of ‘Noble One’. All of the sweet peaches and spun sugar flavours are kept in check by the deft natural touch of fruit acidity giving the wine a luxurious finish.
This 2017 ‘Noble One’ Semillon has 12.7% Alc./vol. Residual Sugar of 173g/L.

• Serve at 9°- 11°C : Cellar for another 10 - 12 years : *Retail 375ml - NZ$39.99


De Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon 2013
Grape Varietal: 100% Semillon
Growing Region: Riverina - Australia
Senior Winemaker: Julie Mortlock
4½ Stars ★★★★☆

Now with age - in your glass you will be greeted by a nougat-orange colour and a soft shimmering hue. The hedonistic bouquet is packed with vivid aromas of grilled apricots, manuka honey, cinnamon, ginger and clove. These all carry forth across the unctuous, layered palate, which is equally generous on the staggeringly viscous hang time and long finish, be prepared, for your tastebuds wanting more.
*This 30th Vintage was released in a 500ml with a Gift Tin.
This 2013 ‘Noble One’ Semillon has 10.5% Alc./vol. Residual Sugar of 201g/L.

• Serve at 9°- 11°C : Cellar for another 8 - 10 years : *Retail 500ml - NZ$64.99

These decadent 'Noble One' wines are available from Fine Wine Retailers • Restaurants • Wine Bars & Winery Website.
*(prices, vintages & availability will vary by outlet & country)

Recent ‘Noble One’ full wine reviews: