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.
- Cabernet Sauvignon887
- Pinot Noir680
- Bordeaux Red Blends518
- Other Red Blends481
- Rhône Blends257
- Other Red Wine76
- Petite Sirah55
- Tuscan Blends47
- Cabernet Franc43
- Nero d'Avola12
- Petit Verdot4
- St. Laurent3
- Alicante Bouschet2
- Pinot Meunier1
Robert Foley Vineyards Charbono 2003Bonarda from Napa Valley, California
Alamos Bonarda 2003Bonarda from Argentina
Schrader Tofanelli Vineyard Old Vine Charbono 2003Bonarda from Napa Valley, California