Vendange Tardive: Dessert wine classification used primarily in France's Alsace region. Vendanges Tardives, or "late harvest," sweet wines are made from grapes left to dehydrate on the vine before harvest; the category indicates a level of sweetness below that of Sélection de Grains Nobles.
Noble Rot: Also known by its scientific name, Botrytis cinerea, noble rot is a beneficial mold that grows on ripe wine grapes in the vineyard under specific climatic conditions. The mold dehydrates the grapes, leaving them shriveled and raisinlike and concentrates the sugars and flavors. Wines made from these berries have a rich, complex, honeyed character and are often high in residual sugar. Noble rot contributes the unique, concentrated flavors in such wines as BA and TBA Riesling from Germany, Sauternes from Bordeaux, Aszu from Hungary’s Tokay district and an assortment of late-harvest wines from other regions.
Late Harvest: On labels, indicates that a wine was made from grapes picked later than normal and at a higher sugar (Brix) level than normal. Usually associated with botrytized and dessert-style wines.
Sélection de Grains Nobles: Dessert wine classification used primarily in France's Alsace region. Sélection de Grains Nobles is the highest classification level for sweet wines made from botrytized grapes in Alsace.