This year marks the 40th anniversary of De Bortoli Wines’ iconic Noble One sweet wine which has won more than 182 trophies and 505 gold medals.
Darren De Bortoli first made Noble One in 1982 after experimenting with Semillon shortly after finishing his wine studies at Roseworthy.
Four decades on, Noble One continues to set the benchmark for Botrytis wines.
“It feels like only yesterday that Dad and I were asking the local growers to allow their grapes to go rotten,” Darren says.
“They thought we were both mad, yet here we are celebrating 40 years of Noble One and what a journey it has been.”
Over the past 40 years only two vintages have been missed due to too much rain – 1989 and 2012.
Julie Mortlock, senior winemaker for De Bortoli Wines Bilbul Estate, has been assisting Darren with Noble One since 2000 and knows the challenges of making this iconic wine.
“Noble One is very dependent on Mother Nature – the right humidity at the right time is needed for the Botrytis to weave its magic,” Julie says.
Noble One has only been tweaked slightly over the years, such as keeping a portion unoaked with a portion matured in barrel to add some fruitfulness and freshness to the blend.
There is no sugar added in Noble One – the sweetness is all natural and comes solely from noble rot, the fungus.
It was nominated as The Sweet Wine Producer of the Year at the 2021 International Wine & Spirits Competition.
The 40th celebrations will include back vintage tastings of Noble One and wine pairing with Noble One truffles at the cellar doors in Bilbul, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and Rutherglen.
De Bortoli has expanded the food pairing with Noble One to beyond dessert and cheeses.
“It is also great with savoury dishes such as Peking duck or freshly sauteed scallops with truffle and pear,” Darren says.
“My personal favourite is simply enjoying Noble One with some fresh fruit – apples, oranges and pears. The combination is delicious.”