Concentration2 on this very LOUD wine! Crazy dark in color, this wine is studded with aromas of smoked meat over violet, coffeecake and boysenberry jam. Vibrant yet opulent flavors are both bright and juicy. Mulberry fruit flavors also show vanilla, graham cracker and thyme. Big tannins are not enough to off-set the racy backbone of acidity that inherently runs through the core of Charbono. Grill up some bread and spread on your favorite creamy cheese with a dollop of olive tapenade to calm the beast-mode in your glass.
19.5 months, French & American Oak (44% new)
Charbono is an ancient grape variety originally brought over by Italian immigrants who settled in Napa Valley. Calistoga has some of the only remaining grapevines known to exist in California. The up-valley location of the Cooke vineyard allows for a long growing season necessary to ripen this thick-skinned grape. The dry-farmed, old vines were planted sometime in the 1970’s from budwood taken from the Inglenook property. Ripening Charbono takes some patience; rarely does the sugar get above 23° Brix which means the resulting alcohol is always below 14%. The inky color belies the moderate tannin level, but the acid levels are bright and energetic making it an excellent food wine. We’ve blended in enough Petite Sirah to flesh out the mid-palate and make the wine a little more user friendly.
With heavy December rainfall, we had hoped for a normal wet month of February. Instead we saw the earliest bud break on record and an equally long spring of frost protection worries. However the warm, dry winter brought us our 4th year of drought, freak hail storms and a long, extended bloom in our red varieties. We called the vintage the “hot tub time machine” which behaved much like our 2007 vintage. It began fast & early, but experience has taught us to have patience to wait for flavor development in order to create wines of which to be proud…again!