WÖLFFER ESTATE VINEYARD CELEBRATES NOBLE ROT
Botrytis-Infected Fruit Measures 73.5 Brix
Sagaponack, NY – October 23, 2015 – Wölffer Estate Vineyard, a sustainable vineyard in the heart of the Hamptons, is excited to announce that, following a perfect growing season, one of the driest on record, we have concluded harvest with beautiful botrytis-infected chardonnay and riesling grapes, ideal for making a 2015-vintage sweet white wine.
“We struck gold!” exclaims Winemaker and Partner Roman Roth. “We found and nurtured pockets of noble rot (a.k.a. Botrytis cinerea fungus) in our own chardonnay and our purchased riesling. And that’s a very good thing!”
As wine writer Jancis Robinson explains in her book, The Oxford Companion to Wine, ”when noble rot attacks ripe, undamaged white wine grapes...(it) 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.” She goes on to say, “The defining factor of a great vintage for sweet white wine...is the incidence of noble rot.”
The sugar level for these ugly grapes, harvested on Thursday, October 22, was an incredible 73.5 Brix. (The average for noble rot is about 40 Brix.) “Ours is the highest Brix east of the Rockies...if not in the entire US!” Roman claims. “If you’re a fan of dessert wines, 2015 will be your year.”
The last botrytis-infected wine made by Wölffer Estate, Descencia 2012 (now sold out), earned 94 points from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. “This time,” Roman says, “we’re going for 100.”