Learn about Bonarda — taste profile, popular regions and more …
Bonarda is actually a name given to a handful of distinct grape varieties, mainly originating in Italy, but also growing in popularity in Argentina. However, DNA profiling shows that what the Argentine people have named Bonarda, is actually identical to California’s Charbono—and Charbono is actually a grape called Douce Noire from Savoie, a mountainous wine region in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes of eastern France.
In Italy, in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese and Emilia Romagna’s Colli Piacentini zones, the grape called Bonarda is not Bonarda at all but instead, Croatina. In Novara, Bonarda Novarese, used to ease the tannins of Spanna (Nebbiolo), is actually Uva Rara.
Tasting Notes for Bonarda
Bonarda is a dry red wine, in all of its iterations. The Argentine wine called Bonarda is typically linear, somewhat complex and loaded with black fruit. California Charbono has a beautifully concentrated deep magenta color and presents lively and juicy red fruit, spice and a pleasant grip in the finish. The wines labeled as Bonarda from Oltrepò Pavese are spicy, medium to light bodied and full of both red and black fruit.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bonarda
Try Bonarda with grilled salmon, seared ahi, teriyaki chicken, pork loin and vegetarian stuffed peppers.
Sommelier Secrets for Bonarda
Bonarda Piemontese, an aromatic variety, is the only true Bonarda. Before phylloxera, it covered 30% of Piedmontese vineyard acreage.
Robert Foley Vineyards Charbono 2004Bonarda from Napa Valley, California