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Noble rot wines

When noble rot, or botrytis, wines are produced, the grapes are harvested after those of the late harvests, when they have been afflicted with a fungus known as Botrytis cinerea. This fungus dehydrates the grapes, concentrating their flavour and sugar content. The sheer unpredictability of the fungus makes production of this type of wine difficult, hence its rarity and high price.

 

Characteristics and pairing of noble rot wines

Visual: Straw-yellow to golden in colour

 

Olfactory: Fresh and exotic fruit, mango, melon, lychee, apricot, flowers, spice, ginger

 

Taste: Their high sugar content is often balanced by a good acidity, with a generous palette of exotic fruit and spice aromas.

 

Pairings: Their particularly high sugar content make them the perfect candidate for richer desserts.

 

Examples: Sauternes, Barsac, Coteaux-du-Layon, Monbazillac, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, the Sélection de Grains Nobles of Alsace, Tokaji Aszú

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Did you know?

Botrytis cinerea is used to make some of the most expensive wines in the world, including Château d’Yquem.