Bonarda from Mendoza, Argentina
100% bonarda (aka: charbono, corbeau de savoie, or douce noire)
Opened 27 Jan 2018
Wine Advocate: 88
Bodegas Esmeralda, founded by Don Juan Fernandez is named in honor of his only daughter: Esmeralda Fernandez. The winery is located in the city of Junin, approximately 300 miles west of Buenos Aires and almost 800 miles east of Mendoza, producing wines both for the local market and for export. The winery’s Tilia labeled wines, named after the Latin name for the Linden tree, are all produced for the export market.
Tilia’s Bonarda vineyard, El Mirador, is located 50 miles to the southeast of Mendoza, at elevations ranging from 1,950 – 2,150’ above sea level. The vineyard is in a true desert climate, receiving less than 1″ of rain per month and is carefully irrigated with the Andes’ snow melt waters flowing down through the Tunuyan River. Because of the desert conditions the sun shines 90% of time throughout the year, generating hot days and cool nights, perfect for the Bonarda grape.
The grape, also known as the Charbono in California, is a very commonly planted variety, second only to Malbec, in the Mendoza area. In the desert climate the grapes produce a medium bodied wine of dark fruit and berry flavors with high acidity and medium tannins.
This wine has a deep purple hue with a cherry red rim. A nose full of plums and black fruit hits you hard upon opening. A medium to full-bodied, but soft on the palate, wine, with an earthy, herbal flavor. It has a medium finish with vivacious tannins, well-nigh a Merlot in character.
A good everyday red at a good price. Serve with mild cheese, pasta or pizza. Drink now but it should be good through 2020. Decant and aerate for one hour before drinking.