But this warmer air also holds more moisture, and botrytis mold (dubbed "noble rot
" because it develops late in the growing season giving late harvest wines complex desirable flavors of raisin, honey, and dried apricot) is starting to develop in the vineyards earlier in the season leading to sour rot (self explanatory and bad).
London's Noble Rot
took a subsidiary "small plate" prize for its red wine.
In France, it is affectionately known as pourriture noble', or noble rot
', for its ability to produce noble (quality) wines.
The alternation of warm and windy afternoons with cold and humid mornings, particularly with the presence of loose clusters of grapes that are well-ventilated, allow development of so-called "noble rot
Merry Edwards, legendary Sonoma winemaker who crafts a beautiful sweet Sauvignon Blanc, explains her inspiration: "I have always been enamored with the great late-harvest wines of the world--the best Sauternes and Trockenbeerenauslese." The former is the famed sweet white of Bordeaux, the latter ("TBA" for short) the sweetest of the German whites, both made from grapes that have been infected with the ominous-sounding fungus Botrytis cinerea, or "noble rot
." In the process of drying and shriveling the grapes, botrytis leaves behind rich honeyed flavors and a haunting minerality--qualities key to the reputations of both wines.
Special growing conditions cause a "friendly" rot, noble rot
, to change the grapes so they become raisiny on the vine.
The wines are made in the same way as the more illustrious offerings from nearby Sauternes - using semillon, sauvignon blanc and muscadelle grapes that have been affected by 'noble rot
' that concentrates the flavour and sugar.
These wines, made with grapes that have been inflicted with botrytis, the famous noble rot
, are both fiercely sweet and wonderfully acidic, with flavors of orange and apricot that meld gorgeously with chocolate.
When Samuel Tinon, a sweet-wine maker in Bordeaux, decided to move to the Tokaji region of Hungary, he was ready to make wine from its Aszu (dried up' or 'dried out') grapes--grapes attacked by the desirable botrytis cinerea, or noble rot
. These grapes are so concentrated that they have to soak in vats of young wine to dissolve their flavors.
Those conditions promote the growth of a fungus called Botrytis, referred to by winemakers as "noble rot
" and which helps concentrate the flavor of the grape.
Also known as 'noble rot
', it shrivels the fruit to its concentrated, honeyed essence.
Ice wine is also very crisp and slightly acidic in flavor, because it is not affected with noble rot
, like Sauternes, another intensely sweet dessert wine.