Noble Rot - The Martinez News Letter
Current Edition: Winter 2016 Edition
Noble Rot, what's that?
You've read the name often enough but there's quite a few Martinez customers who aren't sure what it means... Noble Rot, or botrytis, is a fungus that attacks the skin of grapes under certain conditions. These tend to be when a damp and misty morning is followed by a hot sunny afternoon. The grape skin shrivels without splitting, concentrating the juice inside and giving the resultant wines a rich almost marmalade-like character.
Once tasted the flavour of botrytis is never forgotten. While the world's greatest dessert wines are produced from grapes affected by Noble Rot, in all truth it's more of a destructive condition than anything. Botrytised wines account for a small percentage of the market, so when grapes intended for dry wines are affected they are very difficult to use for anything but sweet wine and are often discarded. Imagine a powerful Claret with botrytis character! Its unthinkable! And despite noble rot being associated with sweet wine a few growers ferment the sugar to dryness, which makes for a very unusual sensation.
We stock a variety of botrytis affected wines at Martinez... why not ask about them next time you're in our shop?