1982 De Bortoli Sauternes Botrytis Semillon:
This is the very first vintage of this wine that later became known as Noble One. In 1982 the French has not as yet put their foot down and naming wines after French regions was quite common in Australia ( e.g Penfolds Grange Hermitage). The wine was renamed Noble One sometime during the 1980’s I think. This was a landmark Aussie sweet wine that swept all before it in many Australian wine shows in the early to mid 1980’s. The grapes were grown in the Riverina district of NSW which was then known as a source of irrigated high cropped mass produced wines. The Riverina has not produced a “serious” wine prior to this. Additionally in 1982 Australia did not have much production of late harvested heavily botrytised wines at this time. The 1982 De Bortoli Sauternes was (and still is) a famous wine that really set the stage for other Aussie “stickies” that emerged during the 1980’s
Bought a few of these bottles at auction a couple of years ago. No idea on how they were stored, but was very keen to give it a try. Before this the oldest one I have in my cellar is the 1996. The capsule is corroded and the level is base neck. The wine is a very dark brassy orange. On opening the nose is wonderful rich intense marmalade with some honey and toffee characters. The palate follows the nose accurately with more orange marmalade and lots of toffee honey as well. In the mouth the wine is very rich, luscious and very intense. The finish is very long with some subtle spice notes. It is all held together by the great framing acidity. The after taste from this wine remains in your mouth for something like 30mins afterwards. Great power and concentration.
I was surprised at how well it was drinking. Clearly fully mature and at peak. The bottle was shared with another couple as a mothers day wine and it drank well and kept getting better over 2 hours before it was all gone.