Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Charbono

Posted by JonDerry, Jun 12.

I believe I have Dmcker to thank for endorsing Charbono in another thread.

Got roped into a dinner last night when I should have been on my way home to my family...and it would have been especially painful if I didn't know to order the Charbono on the short by the glass menu. This was the most satisfying Napa wine I can remember, probably eclipsing the Ramspeck Merlot I raved about last year. This wine is about twice the price, but still well worth it.

Great, ripe and rich Napa fruit really coats the mouth, however what sets this wine apart is the acidic backbone it possesses, combined with touches of forest floor and and earthy elements. The tannins are fine, leaner in heft. The finish is a little thin (though not enough to be cloying) with its medley of fresh fruit flavors and a hint of green feeling vulnerable, as if it's a question as to whether I'll accept and appreciate them. Rich enough fruit to work well as a cocktail, and it's freshness made it a nice companion with pesto and margherita flat breads. Looking forward to enjoying this over the next few years, and perhaps longer.

I had to follow the waitress to the bar and snap a photo. As you can see this is listed as 13.9% Abv, which is exactly what it tasted like. In fact, while I was drinking the wine I was kind of in awe that I was drinking an elegant Napa red that had to be well under 14.5%, what luck. A shame it's such a rarity these days, but maybe the darkest days are behind us.

Replies

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Reply by JonDerry, Jun 12.

A little extra reading from a DIY blogger who appears to have done thorough research on Charbono, which apparently has no genetic relationship to Dolcetto. Tasted more like a cross between an elegant Cabernet on the fruit side and Pinot Noir on the weight/tannic structure.

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Reply by outthere, Jun 12.

Funny you mention this wine as I have it as one of my reccos to my paired taster for the WB 4th of July VT. Nice note JD.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jun 12.

I don't believe I or Sandra have tried Charbono yet, and it sounds very worthy of at least one bottle.

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Reply by outthere, Jun 12.

Damn, the store was out of stock.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jun 14.

The winery sells them for $38/each...

Foley has a Charbono, nice video too explaining what Charbono is about

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Reply by EMark, Jun 14.

The last Charbono I had was a couple years ago from Mt. Palomar WInery.  I know you are not a big fan of Temecula wines, Jon, but this one was perfectly fine--not fine enough that I have bothered to look for more, however.  

Mt. Palomar is another of the Temecula wineries that is trying everything to see what works best there.  I think their best wine--and, at times, it has been very, very good--is their Sangiovese.  In addition to a lot of varietals that you see from everybody, they also have tried varietal bottlings of Cortese and Cinsault.  Again, perfectly functional wines, but I would not necessarily encourage anyone to seek them out.

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Reply by outthere, Jun 14.

So does Turley but it's like $45. Foley wines tend to be a little on the big side. For this VT I was picking new world wine for an old world drinker so voted against Foley and Turley.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jun 14.

Sounds interesting Mark, at least if there was a Charbono tasting to be had.

OT...agree on Turley (plus I believe they source from Tofanelli's vineyard) so really not much interest there at an inflated price. However, in checking out Foley's he talks about the wine getting under 13% routinely and that the grape stops producing sugar at 22 Brix so no reason to let it hang much afterward. Now that has me very intrigued, especially in a cool vintage such as '11. Golden Gate has it for $35 up by you, only retailer in CA with stock apparently. Winery sold out of 500+ cases, though some mags are available.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 29.

JD, you will be happy to know that there will be a Tofanelli Charbono in 2014. I was helping out at the winery today and saw this tag...

Little did I know that a little while later I would be up on a ladder doing a pump-over in that same tank. Small world it is.

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Reply by JonDerry, yesterday at 12:50am.

I never got around to trying the Foley, but I suspect it's about the same as the Tof in style.

Not as high on the 2010 Tof, after consuming a couple bottles after purchase. Nice, but maybe a little too simple. Funny how our standards keep getting raised.

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Reply by outthere, 30 minutes ago.

You know JD, that's the thing about having expectations. When you didn't have any the wine impressed you. After that you set the bar higher and it did not live up to the raised expectations. Sure is a tricky hobby we have.


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