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noble rot

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noun Winemaking.
  1. the fungus Botrytis cinerea, which is cultivated in some winemaking processes, especially in the making of French Sauternes, where the ripened grapes become shriveled as a result of its introduction, thereby concentrating the juice and increasing the sugar content.
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Origin of noble rot

First recorded in 1920–25
Also called noble mold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for noble rot

noble rot

noun
  1. winemaking a condition in which grapes are deliberately affected by Botrytis cinerea, resulting in the shrivelling of the ripened grapes, which in turn leads to an increased sugar content
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Word Origin

C20: translation of French pourriture noble
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012