Wine Word of the Week: Noble rot

By Kori ~ March 20th, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is noble rot.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Noble rot, also known as pourriture noble in French, Edelfaule in German, muffa in Italian, and sometimes simply as botrytis, is the benevolent form of botrytis bunch rot, in which the Botrytis cinerea fungus attacks ripe, undamaged white wine grapes and, given the right weather, can result in extremely sweet grapes which may look disgusting but have undergone such a complex transformation that they are capable of producing probably the world’s finest, and certainly the longest-living, sweet wines. Indeed, the defining factor of a great vintage for sweet white wine in areas specializing in its production is the incidence of noble rot.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Noble rot, caused by the mold Botrytis cinerea which grows on white wine grapes under certain weather conditions, results in thick, intensely sweet wines which have a distinct honeyed character.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. Not Just Sauv, Part 1. | Grape 1368 | May 17th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    […] in a glass of Late harvest Alsatian Gewurztraminer, or the layers of aromatic complexity when Noble Rot gets involved- Gewurztraminer is in a league of its own, its liquid gold. A few weeks ago I took a […]