Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Raspberries and Black Noble

Everyone - in particular, the gardeners amongst us - has been complaining about the lack of summer weather in Vancouver. Everything green seems to be weeks behind a normal growing season. The "Bummer Summer" doesn't seem to have had an evil effect on our garden raspberries though.

We're enjoying our best crop ever and Boo harvested our current bounty today.

Not only that. He even decided to accentuate the positive and make a pie for us to dig into as well. Such an occasion called for an equally special wine to accompany the taste treat. We have a bit of a stockpile of dessert wines; so, it seemed like a no-brainer to reach for a bottle that's been there waiting for a chance like this.

863. N.V. De Bortoli Black Noble (New South Wales - Australia)

Looking at this wine, you'd be hard pressed to guess that it hails from white grapes and Australia. The Aussies have quite a history with "stickies" and fortified wines as many wineries started with that style of wine when the Australian wine industry was getting established.

Black Noble is a pretty unique wine all on its own though. One of De Bortoli's most lauded wines is its Noble One - a Botrytised Semillon somewhat stylized on a French Sauternes. With this wine, the De Botoli's take some of that late harvest Noble One and add a couple of bonus steps. They both fortify it and age it in a solera-like, fractional blending system. The Black Noble sees an average aging process of eight years in oak.

The end result is an unctuous, deep wine that is regularly commented on as displaying overtones of coffee and toffee - two of Boo's favourite flavours. With notes like that, it was just desserts all around.

I'll have to hope that we get another harvest of berries - to see what other surprises might be in store.

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