About Charbono Red Wine

About Charbono Red Wine
Charbono is an unusual California specialty with some old-vine blocks located in the Napa Valley. It is identical to Argentina's Bonarda, which is an Italian red grape whose ancestral home is in the northern Italian provinces of Lombardy and Piedmont. While it does little in its native Italy nowadays, it can be quite something in Argentina, where Italian immigrants brought the vine in the 1800s. The region of Mendoza has large blocks of old vine vineyards that produce deeply hued, intensely fruited wines with attractive acidity and soft tannins. They make for beautiful early drinking reds and are tremendous values. In California, this same strain of Bonarda is known as Charbono and can produce similarly dramatic, if under-appreciated, wines.

Top Picks for Charbono

Frey 2018 Organic Charbono
84 points
$18
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, stewed plums, parmesan, clay, waxy chocolate, and musk with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium body and a buoyant finish with accents of black pepper and toast with chewy tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. Dried fruit and nuts take center in this atypical Charbono.