Piedmont Wine Lexicon - B

Balsamic

Balsams are herbal secretions or viscous solutions made from resin and essential oils from plants such as balsam poplar, balsam fir and balsamic herb. These tertiary substances are used in medicine and perfumery and have a resinous, slightly bitter and noble effect. When it comes to wines, these flavors are highly regarded. They often arise in connection with the barrel aging. The spectrum of balsamic aromas includes nuances of vanilla, sandalwood, myrrh, frankincense, pine resin, camphor, beeswax, oak, pine, eucalyptus, honey, fir, juniper berries and cedar.

Barbaresco

The Barbaresco comes from the Langhe region in Piedmont, Italy. As the “wine of the queen”, it is often compared to the Barolo, which in turn, as a “male” wine, has the predicate “wine of the kings”. Like the Barolo, the Barbaresco is made from the Nebbiolo grape variety. Although the towns of the same name are not even 20 km apart as the crow flies, the lower slopes and the different soil conditions in Barbaresco ensure different tastes. Compared to the Barolo, the Barbaresco appears less bulky and velvety, but has similar strong tannin, alcohol and acid components that are harmoniously interwoven. The wine has a high aging potential. It only develops its full potential after a storage period of around five years.

The Barbaresco is garnet red and has an intense scent of roses and violets as well as notes of cherry, fennel, liquorice and truffle. Its taste is reminiscent of wood, culinary herbs, violets, berries and cherries. It tastes fruity and combines a strong taste with a mild elegance. It took a long time and intensive refinement measures until such a full-bodied wine could develop from the hard-to-reach Nebbiolo grape, which originally tasted unpleasantly bitter. In 1964 the company was promoted to the DOC category and in 1980 to the DOCG category. The red wine goes well with stews, beef and pasta with truffles.

Barolo

The Barolo is one of the finest wines in Italy, which is also indicated by its epithet as the wine of kings. It is grown in designated growing areas in Barolo in northern Italy and ten neighboring communities on the Langhe slopes in Piedmont. Its fruit is obtained from the Nebbiolo grape, which is characterized by an intense and tannic taste. In order for the wine to thrive, it has to grow on calcareous marl soil.

The Barolo has a tradition since the middle of the 18th century. Barriquising is part of its production, which also contributes to its noble taste. The fruity taste is characterized by a wide variety of berries, with hints of tobacco, tar, truffles, mocha, dark chocolate and essential herbs. The taste experience is enriched by a rose and violet scent. Connoisseurs appreciate the intense and complex taste of the wine. The red wine is characterized by its heaviness, which it knows how to combine with elegance and harmony. A unique selling point is its color in a shimmering and intense light red. The wine has a high tannin, acid and alcohol content, which can be as much as 15 per mille. Since it otherwise tastes strong, it should be stored for a long time, after which its taste increasingly takes on a haunting velvety. Storage times of 15 to 20 years are not uncommon for Barolo wine.

Brood

The term brut comes from French and means tart. It is not used for normal wines, but for sparkling wine and sparkling wines.A sparkling wine with the brut classification has a residual sugar content of up to 6 g / l. It tastes intensely fruity, flowery and tart in the finish and has hardly any residual sweetness in the taste.


Barrique

The barrique is a wooden barrel made from certain types of oak. The barrel is not only used to store and transport wines, but also to enhance the aromatic flavor. This change in aroma occurs due to the low level of oxygen exchange through the wooden walls, so that barriquization is referred to as an oxidative expansion of the wine. The taste of the wine is refined by the low oxygen exchange.

Further reasons for the taste enhancement through the barrique are the tannins given off by the oak wood to the wine. The bitter tannins combine to form molecular chains and finally sink to the bottom of the barrel as lees. Long contact with the yeast also leads to a change in the taste of the wine, which overall has a more intense, full-bodied, melt-in-the-mouth, creamy and concentrated taste. The connoisseur perceives delicate vanilla tones, coconut flavors or even smoky and strong tones that are reminiscent of tobacco, for example, which are obtained by toasting (flambéing the inner walls). The shelf life of a barriqued wine is also supported. Since the wine was able to get used to oxygen during its maturation, it subsequently reacts less allergically to oxygen.

A total of three oak barrels are distinguished: the American, the French and the Slavonian oak, named after a historical region in Croatia. French sessile oaks shine with intense vanilla tones, while French pedunculate oaks have a high proportion of tannins. Anyone who drinks a wine that has been made in American oak barrels perceives a more intensive proportion of wood in the wine. The wood is a little coarser than that of French oak and the taste is more neutral.

A barrique usually has a capacity of 225 liters, which at 45 kg corresponds to an empty weight that a dock worker can transport without tools. In addition, this size is also important because this is the only way for the wine to absorb the flavor enhancement during the maturation process. While barriquising of wines is generally popular, especially the red wine from Rioja, red wines from Bordeaux and wines from Piedmont and Tuscany are popular barrique wines.

Bianco

Many Italian wines have the suffix Bianco. Such a labeled wine usually stands for a white wine, because bianco stands for the color white in Italian. White wines are always a Riesling, a Curtefranca, a Cuvée, a Langhe from Piedmont and for wineries with the brand names Tignanello and Ommellaia.

Blind sample

A blind sample is the most objective method for a wine tasting, which is organized professionally to determine the value of wines and for consumer tests, for example by selected wine magazines, and a private wine tasting Frame. A private wine tasting can be both training to sharpen your senses as a gourmet taster, and it can also be undertaken for pleasure Wine tasting have the necessary qualifications. Wine tasting is an art, because wine is the most complex luxury food in the world and includes 23 different alcohols, 27 acids, 80 esters and aldehydes as well as hundreds of aromatic substances that have a balanced ratio, i.e. should be consistent in themselves.The triangle test is one of many such tests in which two identical wines and a different wine are offered. The test for the wine taster now consists in finding out which wine is different.

During the blind test, the bottles are covered, so that the taster does not know anything about the tasted wine. This ensures that cognitive distortions cannot occur during the wine tasting, which arise from subjective expectations regarding a certain wine or a certain grape variety. There are horizontal and vertical methods for the blank sample. In a horizontal process, only wines from the same growing area and vintage are tasted. In the case of a vertical blind sample, a product from different vintages is tasted.

Botrytis Cinerea

The Botrytis Cinerea is a so-called noble rot and therefore a rot which, as the name suggests, can bring about desirable properties for the wine. The rot is caused by the gray mold, which preferably infects the grapes in warm temperatures and high humidity, such as in autumn, and quickly changes from berry to berry. Early fog and nearby bodies of water further promote the spread of the mold. Such foggy areas can only be found in a few wine-growing areas. Souternes, Anjou and Monbazzilac in France, the Moselle and Rheingau in Germany, Valais in Switzerland, the Neusiedlersee in Austria, the Tokaj in Hungary and Slovakia as well as the Cotnari in Romania are known for the Botrytis Cinerea >
If the gray mold has infected a grape berry, it breaks down the cell walls of the berry skin, so that the berry loses moisture that escapes. There is also a change in the metabolism of the berry. The berry now consumes more acid than sugar, so the berry has a particularly sweet taste. In extreme cases, the sugar content of the berry can be up to 45% and thus assume a level that is so high that only parts of the sugar can be fermented in alcohol. The wine gets the special botrytist tone with breathtaking saffron aromas and hints of an oriental spice bazaar.

Noble rot can be a curse and a blessing, because not all wines benefit from the infestation. In dry white wines, putrefaction leads to early aging and a rather repulsive taste. In the case of red grapes, the enzyme laccase is released, which changes the color of the red wine unfavorably. It takes on an unnatural orange-brown color. If the putrefaction still sets in during the ripening process, a process begins with the raw decay that would ultimately make the wine inedible.

sediment

The sediment (also: depot) of a wine is initially formed by the excretion of dead yeast cells and later by the polymerisation of tannins (especially tannins) and colorants. These combine to form long chains of molecules and some of them sink in a solid state as sediment to the ground. The cloudy substances are by no means to be understood as a wine fault, but give the wine part of its content and its aroma.

That is why decanting must be carried out carefully so that the solid molecular chains are sifted out of the wine, but not too many of them so valuable tannins and colorings are lost. Decanting is therefore a labor-intensive process that requires a lot of practice and a dexterous hand. Decanting machines are available to facilitate this.

The sediment is mainly found in heavy and full-bodied red wines. There it is formed after eight years at the earliest. Once the deposit has formed, this is a sign that the wine is now ripe.

Bush education

Bush education is a certain form of vine education. Quality and quantity of the grapes are positively influenced. In training the bushes, the winemaker takes advantage of the particularity of the remarkably slow-moving grape varieties in barren locations in southern Europe. If these grape varieties are pruned regularly, they can grow as a bush and, unlike ordinary grape varieties, do without proppants. The advantages of this method lie in the saving of costs and effort. It has been known since ancient times.

Battonage

Battonage is a wine refinement process. It comes from French and is named after the stick, the baton, with which the procedure is carried out. Battonage stirs up the yeast that has remained in the wine after alcoholic fermentation. This protects the yeast from decomposition. At the same time, the yeast effect is intensified. In the case of barrique wines, this is done, among other things, to rid the wine of its woody taste. Instead, the wine receives aromas that are reminiscent of cream, nuts and butter. The treated wine receives the greatest fullness, a better mouthfeel and a longer shelf life.

The Chardonnay in particular is known for battonage. The expression referring to this procedure is on a French label “sur lie” or “tirage sur lie”. With this technology, the five Viennese Markus Altenburger, Gerhard Kracher, Christian Tschida, Florian Geyer and Erich Scheiblhofer created a perfect red wine with the "Battonage", which, as the name suggests, is entirely committed to the Battonage. When, after 15 years, their wine was awarded the maximum number of 100 points by Falstatt magazine, it was an event of national importance in Austria.

Blind sample

A blind sample is the most objective method for a wine tasting, which is organized professionally to determine the value of wines and for consumer tests, for example by selected wine magazines, and a private wine tasting Frame. A private wine tasting can be both training to sharpen your senses as a gourmet taster, and it can also be undertaken for pleasure Wine tasting have the necessary qualifications. Wine tasting is an art, because wine is the most complex luxury food in the world and includes 23 different alcohols, 27 acids, 80 esters and aldehydes as well as hundreds of aromatic substances that have a balanced ratio, i.e. should be consistent in themselves. The triangle test is one of many such tests in which two identical wines and a different wine are offered. The test for the wine taster now consists in finding out the deviating wine.

During the blind test, the bottles are covered so that the taster does not know anything about the wine being tasted. This ensures that cognitive distortions cannot occur during the wine tasting, which arise from subjective expectations regarding a certain wine or a certain grape variety. There are horizontal and vertical methods for the blank sample. In a horizontal process, only wines from the same growing area and vintage are tasted. In the case of a vertical blind sample, a product from different vintages is tasted.

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