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Wines beginning with the letter ‘B’
Tipping's Tipples this week is brought to you by the letter B.
Appropriately, it is the initial of Bacchus, the Roman God of wine, and two of the world’s most famous wine regions, in Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Even the New World can lay claim to the Barossa Valley in Oz and the Bio Bio Valley in Chile, an upstart in the riesling world.
There is list of grape varietals starting with B, although most are relatively obscure. But maybe you have drunk some of the better known names; bonarda, blaufränkisch or brachetto? Not forgetting important wine terms starting with the letter B: like botrytis, the rot that plays its part in the production of some of the greatest dessert wines.
However, none of the above figure in my trio of “B” wine recommendations, but there are some famous names nonetheless.
B is for Beaujolais, a wine that is once again fashionable among the wine-chatteratti. Chilled in summer, it makes a great choice of red; it also works brilliantly with Christmas dinner. Just make sure you choose wisely.
Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages 2009 is a good wine. It is juicy, very approachable stuff, hinting at strawberry, raspberry and red cherry flavours and perfume.
B is also for Barolo, the famous wine producing area in the Piedmont region of Italy. Wines from the region can be very long lived and very expensive.
For a more immediately drinkable example, that is in the realms of the affordable, you could do a lot worse than Radcliffe’s Prestige Collection Barolo 2006. Made from the nebbiolo grape, this is a rich, food-friendly, plum-cake of a wine, with notes of anise, truffle and a decent length.
My last B isn’t a region or a grape but an intriguing red from South Africa, Bellingham The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage 2009.
One reviewer, writing for a national Sunday, described this wine as having a yoghurt flavour.
I think I know where he is coming from, but I tasted it more as a suggestion of coconut milk.
Whatever, it doesn’t stop this being a big, rich, satisfying wine, complete with ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit, plus some oak spice.
• Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages 2009, £9.49 at Tesco and Waitrose 17/20.
• Radcliffe’s Prestige Collection Barolo 2006, £12.99 at Bargain Booze 16/20.
• Bellingham The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage 2009, £11.99 each when you buy two at Majestic 16/20.