Noble rot is a type of spore called Botrytis cinerea that rots fruits and vegetables. While it sounds and looks disgusting it adds a unique and highly sought-after flavor of ginger and honey in wine. There are many wines made from ‘noble rot’ grapes including:
Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac and Monbazillac which are French. Appellations in and around Bordeaux use Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle to make a golden-hued sweet wine.
Tokaji is a wine from Hungary made with botrytis Furmint grapes that are rated in different levels of sugar, from 5-6 Puttonyos (with a minimum of 120 grams residual sugar; the same level as coca-cola).
Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling. In the German Pradikat system (a sweetness labeling system), Auslese is the first level with a higher proportion of botrytis-affected grapes. Besides being sweeter than the lower level ‘QbA’ and ‘Kabinett’ German Rieslings, they also tend to have higher alcohol.