De Bortoli Noble One Back Vintage Tasting, Ten Vintages: 1982 - 2003

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A back vintage tasting of De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon at one of Adelaide’s top restaurants yielded some pleasant surprises for Mark Wickman of Wickman's Fine Wine Auctions recently, with earlier vintages showing off how Australia’s greatest wines can mature with age. Noble One is one of Australia's premier dessert wines and is on par with the likes of Australian icons Penfold Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace and is as good if not better than some of the best French Sauternes.

A back vintage tasting of De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon at one of Adelaide’s top restaurants yielded some pleasant surprises for Mark Wickman of Wickman's Fine Wine Auctions recently, with earlier vintages showing off how Australia’s greatest wines can mature with age. Noble One is one of Australia's premier dessert wines and is on par with the likes of Australian icons Penfold Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace and is as good if not better than some of the best French Sauternes.

De Bortoli wanted to do a bit of a promotion in Adelaide, South Australia and decided to team up with Chris Jarmer@Air restaurant on North Terrace and present a tasting of their famous Noble One Botrytis Semillon.

It was an excellent evening and a rare opportunity to try these wonderful wines that were superbly matched with an array of fine food. All were served from 750ml bottles and each flight was introduced by the winemakers, either Julie Mortlock or Nick Guy. I believe all past vintages were sourced from the winemakers private cellars. None of the wine was out of its drinking range and all, including the 1982 still had many years of life left in them. Mark Wickman of Wickman's Fine Wine Auctions ( http://www.wickman.net.au ) took the opportunity to try the wines on offer and the following are Wickman's personal notes of the evening.

FIRST FLIGHT with a selection of Antipasto

Well, these were well matched... Metwurst, pickled vegetables, sundried tomato etc. all went very well with the wine.

1982 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

The first vintage and still going strong. Smokey brown with a light viscous, rich palate of toffee and honeysuckle. Medium body and a good finish.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUDAUD$40

Current Auction price (750ml): AUDAUD$55

1987 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Dark amber/brown. My favourite for the flight and second favourite for the night. Dense rich, full bodied with lovely flavours of honeyed fruit, ripe melon, raisins and orange marmalade. clean and fresh with and excellent, crisp finish.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$20

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$40

1991 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Darker brown. A bit more reserved than the others with a well balanced palate of apricots and honey with spicy oak on the finish.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$30

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$50

SECOND FLIGHT with Leek, Onion & Gruyere Tart with Rocket Salad

Yum, this was a great match of food with this flight of wonderful wines.

1993 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Browny gold, A wonderfully rich and complex nose of cumquat, lemony oak and melons with a striking palate of banana, oranges and figs on a slightly lean finish.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$25

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$40

1994 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Excellent wine. The standout of the evening. A browney, golden color with a rich, luscious texture and mouthfilling flavours. Complex remnants of pineapple, creme brule, apricots, melon and buttery cashews lingered on the palate for an eternity.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$30

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$40

1998 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Slippery with some pleasing flavours of orange and oaky lemon. Finishing quite dry with some spicy oak on the finish.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$30

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$50

2000 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

A superb wine with a lush, full bodied, complex palate of apricot, vanilla oak and slight nutty caramel flavours. Will age harmoniously like the 1994

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$20

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$35

THIRD AND FINAL FLIGHT - Sicilian apple cake with panacotta gelati & caramel sauce

2001 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Darker in color than the 2000 or 1998. Honeyed and lush orange flavours integrated into tropical fruit mix and a long plush, citrus finish.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$20

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$40

2002 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Lush, rich and complex, with quite a bit of well integrated oak and acid in evidence. Will be a pearler after a decade or so.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$ available retail

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$ available retail

2003 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Lovely with very few harsh edges, slippery and smooth but perhaps without the acid to go a long way. Drinking superbly now. Apparently this will be partly released in stelvin.

Current Auction price (375ml): AUD$ available retail

Current Auction price (750ml): AUD$ available retail

ABOUT WICKMAN'S FINE WINE AUCTIONS

As well as holding a number of commercial wine auctions through the year, the Wickman Family also hosts charity auctions to raise money for various charities, auctioning wine and wine related services that have been generously donated from wine companies in Australia and overseas.

UPCOMING AUCTIONS

SEPTEMBER 2005 - 15th September 2005

OCTOBER 2005 - tba

DECEMBER 2005 - tba

For additional information contact:

Mark Wickman

WICKMAN'S FINE WINE AUCTIONS

PO Box 1270

North Haven

South Australia, 5018

Australia

Website: http://wineauction.wickman.net.au/

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