Another Wine Byte 3: Noble Rot

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Here is the third in our weekly series of Another Wine Bytes; information about wine you can use to impress your friends (but not in an obnoxious way, of course!)

AWByte #3 – What is Noble Rot?Noble Rot

We’re voracious readers.  In fact, I don’t believe the day is done until I’ve read a least a few pages of whatever book I have on the nightstand. Recently we picked up Noble Rot: A Bordeaux Wine Revolution by William Echikson, which promises to “delve into the mysteries of the legendary classification of 1855,” and the figures who “epitomize the changes sweeping Bordeaux.”  Just what, you ask, is “noble rot?”

Noble rot occurs when grapes left on the vine are infected by a fungus called Botrytis cinerea conditions if conditions in the fall are warm and humid enough. Botrytized grapes are dehydrated and shriveled.  These grapes, when picked at a certain point during infestation, can produce particularly fine and concentrated sweet wine. Some of the finest Botrytized wines are literally picked berry by berry in successive tris (French for “selections”).

The best examples of these very sweet dessert wines made from botrytized grapes are produced in Bordeaux and Germany.  Some of the grapes favorably affected by noble rot include Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Semillion, Chenin blanc and Gewurtztraminer. Late harvest wines, Spätlese and Auslese Riesling and Eiswein are created from noble rot.

And that’s this week’s “Another Wine Byte!”

Cheers!

~Amy Corron Power,
aka WineWonkette

And now for something completely different here’s a rather strange video called “Noble Rot” that I found on youtube.com