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Wine Tag: B


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How's this? I was enjoying a cup of wine with a friend yesterday when a group of women came to see the doctor (my tasting was in a doctor's office) and couldn't go through an explanation of treatment options (for some cosmetic type work) without all imbibing in some wine. They brought a bottle that I had never seen called: BITCH! I was told that it stood for: Babe in total control of herself, or something like that. Anyway it does start with B so there you are.

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Well, I'll be darned. It appears the aforementioned wine is a Barossa Valley (AUS) Grenache.

Blogger Review Here

Just in case the link doesn't stay current, here is the taster's review:

2004 "Bitch" Barossa Valley GRENACHE (Australia)

Yes, that is the name of the wine. And the back label repeats the word dozens of time. If you give this as a gift, make sure the recipient has a sense of humor.

Actually, the wine is very good. It reminded me of one of my perennial good buys from down under, d'Arenberg "The Stump Jump."

Deep, bright ruby. Richly and vibrantly fruity nose of raspberries, peaches, and lemons, with a steely minerality underneath. Round, rich, and soft in the mouth, with raspberry liqueur, iodine, and graphite flavors. Fairly long finish, with little tannin, but some alcoholic heat showing through. Not complex, but satisfying and full of character, and a good buy to boot. 87. Was $9.50 at Spec's out west on Westheimer (near Fogo de Chao).

This gets the day off to an interesting start . . . :blink:

Available from Napa Valley Wine & Cigar for $8.99.

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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B is for Beaujolais , L’Ancien, Vielles Vignes

It was haunting. Mysteriously darting here and there while all my senses reached hungrily out for each nuance, chasing them like glints of light radiating from a gem. A cloud of delicate sensations ran through my brain then lofted away. Nothing overwhelmed me, but its teasing, tempting and almost impish personality became addicting. I found myself coming back to it night after night as there was something so compelling about its vulnerable, yet soaring complexity. Like a seemingly weightless ballet dancer, every move floated through my senses.

There’s a pretty good chance you’ll hate it, or won’t get it, but I find myself pulling the cork from a bottle of this wine several times a week because I have found few wines so satisfying at the dinner table.

The wine: 2004 Beaujolais, L’Ancien, Vielles Vignes, Terres Dorees from Jean-Paul Brun. Just writing about this wine makes me salivate.

It’s not big. It’s not powerful. It’s not pointy. It is simply delicious. No juicy-fruity Duboeuf here, but a wine with a strangely powerful delicacy. The bouquet entices not attacks and on the palate it dances, challenging your palate to follow its lead - if you have the time and inclination. Considering the under $15 price tag, a wine that can lead your senses in so many directions is a staggering bargain.

Never passing 12% alcohol and produced without manipulation, the delicacy of such a wine is sure to disappoint palates trained on the hyper-extracted and manipulated wines of today, but if you are getting a little bored with indistinguishable wines from unidentifiable places, maybe, just maybe, you can open your palate and mind to something new. Actually, it’s not new; it’s very, very old. We all just forgot.

Beaujolais , L’Ancien, Vielles Vignes, Terres Dorees is imported by Louis/Dressner

(reprinted from my blog)

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OK,I'll play............

last weekend I tasted Lone Madrone's

2004 Barfandel

"2004 BARFANDEL

The Lone Madrone Barfandel is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Barbera. The nose on this wine shows cocoa and sour cherry. In the mouth, are tastes of smoky oak, loganberry, chocolate and spice. This wine has great balance with chewy, soft tannins, backed up with beautiful acidity and a long, complex finish."

I LOVED it ! Very chocolate-berry with a smooth soft mouthfeel. Haven't had a bottle yet but sure liked the taste.

About Neil Collins, the winemaker:

"Neil Collins is the founder and winemaker of Lone Madrone. He’s also been making the wines and tending to the vineyard operations for Tablas Creek Vineyards since 1998. The wines he produces for Tablas Creek are among the best Rhone varietals produced in California, and he brings this same passion and quest for excellence to his own Lone Madrone wines.

Neil honed his craft in the cellars and vineyards of two prestigious California Central Coast operations, Wild Horse Winery and Adelaida Cellars, where he served as winemaker for five years.

Prior to joining Tablas Creek and starting his own wine label, Neil worked for Chateau de Beaucastel, one of the most highly-regarded estates in the Chateauneuf-du-pape, southern Rhone region of France. His experience in French winemaking complemented his earlier training as a French chef in his hometown of Bristol, England. "

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Dale J - a local wine store here in suburban Cincinnati sells one called "Royal Bitch." It's a red wine, somewhat mellow. Black label. Don't ask the winery or the grapes involved. I don't remember. But I will go back and find out. It was quite good.

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Cerdon de Bugey - a sparkling pink from the nearby slopes of the French alps. Several years ago someone posted here that it tasted like strawberries. And they were right. Low alcohol - about 7%. I found some in NJ at the time, but haven't seen it in about a year anywhere. Any ideas where to get now?

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my B's:

first taste of 2002 Barolo ( a maligned vinatge to say the least), from elio grasso. they chose to make only one Barolo this vintage. the wine got good marks from s tanzer, especially considering the vintage, but I didn't care for it at all. i love grasso's wines and own lots of them, but this must have been just a terrible year.

however, Bruno giacossa 2004 nebbiolo d'alba was simply wonderful with flank steak.

Edited by wkl (log)
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Craig-

What a great description of good Beaujolais. I keep meaning to get up to SF to get some of Brun's wines which are so popular with the internet wine crowd. Luckily there are other fine options around of which I think I have 5 or so at the house now. Everytime I open one I find the first sip to be light and simple after which it grows in complexity and beauty with every taste until the bottle is gone. I also love what I perceive as a subtle bitterness under the bright fruit. Tonights was a triple B threat: Beaujolais from Brouilly imported by Beaune imports.

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Not my favorite in the house, but another nice and fairly rich for the genre 2005. I'm not much of a deconstructionist so you will have to settle for subtle, pretty, balanced and took my mind off of a long day at the office. $17

I have a nice 2002 Morgon I may have to open while the B's are going as well. I'd open some Barolo/Barbaresco as well but unfortunately I don't own much :sad:

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For my "B" I chose a wine by Gérard Bertrand. I was trying to find something and didn't know anything about the producer, but lucky for me there is a website with plenty of information. From the site: Gérard Bertrand is, like his father before him, a winemaker in Languedoc -- although also an accomplished rugby player. His current aim is to bring winemakers together to "prove that the Languedoc itself produces great wines." He owns four properties, Château l'Hospitalet near the La Clape Massif being the headquarters, showcase, and main winery.

The wine I picked up is the Gérard Bertrand "Classic" Carignan Vieilles Vignes (Vins de Pays de l'Aube), and it appears to be the bottom rung label in the portfolio (CAD$15). Although the much-maligned Carignan isn't exactly something that I seek out as a varietal wine, I couldn't resist as I wanted to try something different, and it starts with B! The wine has good depth of colour and presents big smells of jammy stewed fruit, some spice and black pepper, and a little woodsmoke -- rich, ripe, and fruity. The website says that it undergoes long-term carbonic maceration, but I found only a hint of typical candy aromas, what I really noticed is the supple ripe tannins and well-balanced acid. For a young, fairly low priced (it is in my market) wine, I'm calling it a winner.

P.S. Nathan P: I'm curious about your Morgon producer. I have some Lapierre that I'm running low on and couldn't bring myself to open (quite yet... we'll see how the week goes!). He's the only "Gang of Four" that I can find here, so I'd love to hear about what you have!

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P.S. Nathan P: I'm curious about your Morgon producer. I have some Lapierre that I'm running low on and couldn't bring myself to open (quite yet... we'll see how the week goes!). He's the only "Gang of Four" that I can find here, so I'd love to hear about what you have!

Its Thevenet. I actually just bought them at Kermit Lynch's shop in Berkeley a couple of weeks ago with a mess of Cab Franc. I've only been serious into wine for about a year so I don't have a cellar I have stocked and can't seem to keep myself away from my better bottles. I don't think I have tasted Beaujolais more than 4 years old though. My local wine shop/bar was pouring a 2002 Granger Julienas Cuvee Speciale earlier this year that I wish I had bought a few more of.

Also from KL I have 4 or 5 bottles of the 2005 Fleurie "les Morieres" from Chignard. Super tasty as well and tastes more or less like the notes in Lynch's Aug. newsletter.

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2003 Arnaldo Caprai "Poggio Belvedere," Umbria IGT.

Here is my first tasting note on this wine from back in April: 80% sangiovese, 20% ciliegiolo. Fermentation and aging in stainless steel (some additional aging in bottle). Caprai is primarily known for Monefalco DOC and Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG wines. Those who are waiting for the tannins in the Sagrantino to mellow (which seems like it can take forever) will want to stock up on the Poggio Belvedere to enjoy during the wait. This wine does a very nice job of giving off both fresh berries and spice at the same time with secondary floral tones. There's a nice level of acidity to keep everything bright. It may be a tiny bit hollow in the midpalate, but I think it needs a bit of air to fully flesh out.

I had another bottle of this last night. Similarly enjoyable. My wife, who usually doesn't comment much on whatever wine I opened, made more than two comments about how much she liked it. It's a very forward, immediately pleasing wine. I do need to revisit my last sentence in the note above, however. I wouldn't give this wine a whole helluva lot of air time. After about 45 minutes, its brightness and vitality were turning flabby. If you have a number of guests, this is a good wine to open because everyone will get an enjoyable glass before the wine starts to break apart.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Ah hah! I've just tasted a LOT of Bs....went to a tasting at the Produttori del Barbaresco a couple of days ago :smile: There (after a fascinating tour of the winery - I didn't know that they did *everything* like malo, cold stabilization, etc.. in tank before putting the wine in botti) we tasted:

2004 Langhe Nebbiolo Fresh, young, vibrant with high acidity - great young punchy food wine. Needs food!!

2003 Barbaresco No single vineyard Barbaresco was produced this year (they picked as early as Sept 20th!) so all the Produttori's wine went into the Barbaresco standard. Very spicey, much richer with a lot of powerful red fruit on the nose. Good acidity but not huge in structure.

2002 Barbaresco Again, no single vineyard wine was produced in this year. Lots of lovely floral and vegtal notes. Much closer to 'trad' Barbaresco than 2003. Very bright with fresh acidity and a surprising amount of class. A good example of a traditional Nebbiolo.

2001 Barbaresco Really lovely. Nose of tar, roses, complexity. Tannins much riper and smoother than in 2002 with clear and fresh acidity.

2001 Paje Barbaresco More closed on the nose - the producer agreed that decanting would be good. Lots of violet notes, though. Palate was lovely - chewy full tannins with suppleness, high acidity and liquorice notes. Wine of the tasting - but won't be released until next year!! :sad:

2000 Pora Barbaresco More open than the above. Less acidity than Paje (sandier soil in Pora we were told). more red fruit on the nose than violets- good tannins on palate.

2000 Rio Sordo Barbaresco Very kirschy nose with nice florality. good tannins, less acidity (but stil quite strong). Resonably approachable, even at this young age.

1999 Rio Sordo Barbaresco From a vintage closer in nature to the 2001 than 2000. Lovely notes of tar and roses. Palate with strong yet balanced structure. Great acidity. Will repay lots of cellaring- right now stil vigourous and young.

I hope that's enough Bs for now. It was a great tasting. I thought that tasting just Barbaresco would be incredibly tiring on the palate but the wines were all so elegant that, though powerful, they were not tiring or distracting. Just very very delicious!!

Edited by Fengyi (log)

<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

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In honor of the one year anniversary of my trip to South Africa, last night I opened a couple of bottles of 2004 Chocolate Block from Boekenhoutskloof, composed of 45% Syrah, 25% Grenache Noir, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cincault, 2% viognier. The wine was quite lovely and full of various dark fruit. It paired very nicely with roasted fresh ham with garlic, rosemary, sage and thym, cumin-scented roasted fingerling potatoes and local, farmer's market spinach sauteed with garlic, nutmeg, pinenuts and raisins.

This should cover me for both "B" and "C" :raz:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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No tasting notes on this, but I ran across an interesting "B" wine in the October 2006 issue of Saveur.

The wine is a red Hungarian called "Bulls Blood" or "Bikaver" in Hungarian.

... the traditional Hungarian meritage-style blend.  Bull's Blood is defined as a blend of three or more red varietals that can be made only in the Szekszard and Eger regions*.  During the Communist era, bull's blood from Eger-- Egri Bikaver--was imported into the US as an affordable wine of dubious quality.  That image is slowing changing, the revolution in Hungarian winemaking has led to vast improvements in bull's blood."

And here's a description of the Bikaver made by Ferenc Takler, the Trandanubian vintner whose winery is featured in the article:

The bikaver is more approachable.  A blend of kokfrankos (38%), merlot (25%), cabernet sauvignon (20%) and less amounts of cabernet franc and kadarka, it has notes of blueberries and creamy chocolate.  Bikaver is Takler's personal wine of choice, and he has won medals for it at the Bordeaux competition.

The entire article is pretty interesting in its description of the growing renaissance in Hungarian winemaking and there are some nice accompanying recipes for Hungarian dishes in the article as well.

It's been easier to find Austrian wines in the last five years but I haven't noticed any Hungarian wines.

*The Szekszard wine region is located off the banks of the Danube, about 90 miles south of Budapest.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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  • 2 weeks later...

BONARDA - the other grape from Argentina

My TN for the 2003 Altos Las Hormigas Bonarda Colonia las Liebres:

Opaque black-red in the center w/ just a hint of translucent burgandy red on the edges. Indeed, there's some bacon in the nose along w/ lots of blackberry and blackcurrent. While it is juicy, the tannins still announce their presence but I can't wait 'til they take just a tad more of a back seat. Acidity in balance. It's been a while since I opened one of these and it's good to remember how much I like this and what an excellent QPR this is (I paid $6.).

Wine - Light held together by moisture. Galileo Galilei

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