Tuesday, April 3, 2012

6. Bold

6. Bold
Dark, deep tannins grasp,
seeping in, complex tones sway,
desired red wine.

Slowly, my heart, take it in.
Let the heat slide down, satisfied.

I've recently read that bold isn't much of a wine term; it is mainly used in marketing. As such, it isn't a clear definition. But there is often a generally accepted idea, that bold wines are heavy with tannins. This gives some freedom in the definition, as is the case with so many abstracts. 

For me, bold does have the heavy tannin, but it is a wine with strong flavors, often many not quite melding but acting in harmony of one another.I usually associate the deeper berry flavors -- blackberry especially -- and other darker fruits -- currants -- with this. I also would say many bold wines have a hint of chocolate, as well as either a smoky, leathery, or oaky taste. And it doesn't take a genius to know that these flavors do no blend. Instead, they work alongside one another. Often one moves into another, but even more likely, they work as a two flavors in one. Fruit and chocolate naturally do this. When the darker fruits are put into dark chocolate, no one flavor takes over. At times, one is more powerful than the rest. One the edges, they are both there, both noticeable but match like related related colors. For me, I think of my chocolate covered blackberries -- where the chocolate is thick, you taste chocolate; towards the center, it is all blackberry; but where the two meet, it is chocolate and blackberry, separate, equal, and yet, together.

I also often connect bold wines warmth; they are wines that seem to be warm in the mouth and on its way down the throat. Very bold wines are warming on the palate, they almost smother it, like a rich sauce or melted chocolate. As they slide down the throat, they stay warm, like a warm drink on a cold day. Once they accumulate in the stomach, they have a spreading warmth. They are delightful, but not always best for hot summer days.

In the end, my definition does share similarities with most people's, and so both definitions would definitely accept the Cabernet's --my next post by the way -- as bold wines. But I would go beyond that and allow some medium bodied, and not just full bodied, reds into this category. One person I read would place Malbecs here. Honestly, I would place most Texas Malbecs, as the soil adds the deeper complexities more reminiscent of Cabs; however, smoother Malbecs don't always match up. The Malbecs that are more fruit forward and  very smooth aren't bold; they don't have the more visceral effect of a bold wine. One wine I saw missing from most lists, that I would put near the top, is Tempranillo. These wines are always bold; their spicy nature makes them powerful. And, their rich tannins create a depth of flavor like that of a Cab. 

So what is bold? I think bold is what you make it. It will have the distinct flavor of tannins, but is that enough? What you find excites you when you drink a tannin rich red is bold for you. So, be bold.

No comments:

Post a Comment