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Calder Wine Company-Charbono-"Meyer Vineyard" Calistoga, Napa Valley-2012

Calder Wine Company
"Meyer Vineyard" Calistoga, Napa Valley


Grape of Savoie, French Alps, origin is planted in tiny amounts in Napa and Mendocino. Typically dark colored, higher acid and rather tannic, this wine has toned down the less-friendly aspects. Big fresh berry nose, smidge of coriander and fennel aroma, straightforward flavors, “brisk” acidity and gentle tannins. Low alcohol. Spicy pizza wine! 276 cases made.

Connor's Corner, March 18, 2015:

Charbono certainly qualifies as an esoteric varietal. Originally from the Savoie Region in the French Alps, the grapes now survives almost exclusively here in Napa and down in Argentina where it is called Bonarda. To those unfamiliar with the grape, I would say it usually is akin to Petite Sirah... late to ripen, chocolately, dark, full and fruity, often with pronounced tannins.

Calder Wine Company Charbono, from the small "Meyer Vineyard" in Calistoga, is  another animal all together. While the classic Charbono qualities are all here; it is a lighter, brighter and decidedly more delicate example of the varietal. Coming in at a low 12.5% alcohol, this wine is an ideal dinner companion.

Like Elizabeth-Hurley-in-a-cocktail-dress ideal dinner companion, it flat out stole the show at my recent dinner party (see the re-cap here.) Bright red fruits, delicate hibiscus tea, black pepper and pomegranate with a kiss of wild fennel and chocolate shavings. Have it in place of Pinot Noir with your next meal. You might never go back. But get it while you can, at 250 cases made, I can't imagine this will stick around long.

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