Perhaps the most famous wine in Australia.
Darren De Bortoli created Noble One at his family winery in 1982, to this day it is still one of the most awarded wines in history and the oldest examples are sensational. More than three decades after this pioneering Botrytis Semillon took the world by storm, internationally acclaimed Noble One remains the benchmark of Australian ‘Botrytis’ dessert winemaking.
Up until 1990, wines were matured in coarse-grained French oak puncheons produced in Australia, which gave plenty of oak character but leaked! With effect from the 1990 vintage, tight-grained Seguin Moreau (as used by Ch. d’Yquem) has been used.
Hand picking was completed in 5 days and Semillon from each vineyard was fermented seperately for up to 3 weeks. Wines were clarified and stabilised as rapidly as possible. Post fermentation and primary blends were then made. These wines were re-blended for Noble One prior to bottling. De Bortoli allocate a percentage of new oak each year specifically for the Noble One Botrytis Semillon. It is matured for 12 months in French oak barriques and then given a further 12 months bottle maturation under optimum conditions before release. These post fermentation procedures and close attention to fruit selection contribute to the uniqueness of the De Bortoli style.
Very deep in colour, looking more like a tawny port than an aged semillon. The flavours are intense and multi layered. The initial sweetness is tempered by dried apricot, citrus rind and herbal tea flavours. The acidity is still good, driving a long finish. It’s not overly complex, but very beautiful and deeply satisfying.
“A quick onset of botrytis. Deep amber with a golden rim. The nose is more developed than the 1991 with apple tarte tatin which follows through on a rich palate with caramelised apricot and citrus acidity to balance. Not as fine as the 91 but powerful. 150g/l residual sugar/11% abv”
Sarah Ahmed, The Wine Detective (UK), September 2009