For many years has been spoken about the provenience of this vine without reliable sources. However, recently has been found that the truth lurks in France, in the Savoy region and that the origins of Argentinian Bonarda is Douce Noir.
Indeed, before this discover, it was thought that the Argentinian Bonarda was the Charbono grape, found in Napa Valley, California, but even in this case, incredibly, this variety is nothing less than Douce Noir. As it has been said several times the Argentine Bonarda was thought to being the descendant of the Bonarda Piemontese, however, when researchers and DNA test in Bonarda’s clones have found the truth, which said that Douce Noir is the same grape we actually find in Argentina under the name of Bonarda, there was a little bit of confusion.
We do not know why and how this grape has been carried from Europe to America but we can imagine that it happened probably through the migrants in the late 19th century, changing its name with the regions or areas where they planted it, moving toward to California becoming Charbono ( from the name Corbeau de Savoie ) and afterwards to Argentina, in Mendoza, with the name of Bonarda.
So, here a brief recap: The Argentinian Bonarda is Douce Noir, that comes from Savoy region. Even if the name is not exact anymore, it has became synonym of the Argentinian Viticulture that is conquering not just its Country but the international market too.
The secret that makes this grape perfect for Argentina is its particular needs: Warm climate, lot of sun, low yield and adequate maturation; all characteristics which are found in the most important Argentinian Wine Region, Mendoza. However, recently has been discovered that, in the San Rafael – Cuadro Benegas district, Bonarda gives out its best. This territory is situated between two rivers, the Diamante in the north and the Atuel in the South, bringing the pure fresh water and soil rich in minerals from the Andes Glaciers.
Photo used by permission of Algodon Wine Estates. This photo is copyrighted and may not be reproduced, duplicated or copied.
A popular winery situated in that area called Algodon conducted some researches with a local laboratory, Agronimia San Rafael, and according to the results, the soil match all the requirements to potentially produce outstanding Bonarda ; it is mostly sandy and clayey, with important quantities of Calcium, Magnesia, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and zinc with very balanced PH values. All this factors play an important role to create amazing red wines, and in this case, outstadning Bonarda.
They are more than sure that, using French techniques brought by the expertise hands of the Senior Wine Advisor Marcelo Pelleriti and Winemaker Marcelo Nosenzo, plus the perfect Terroir that characterizes estate, the next Argentinian Ambassador, the Bonarda, will hit the top of the charts. Their oldest vines were planted on 1946, which are giving low yield and high concentration in terms of flavors, structure and complexity.
I had several wine tastings of their Bonarda, and I was so impressed by the results :
In the mouth, Bonarda has red and black fruit, as well as ripe fruits of the forest such as strawberries, blackberries, cassis and cherries. If oak-aged, it often presents a spiced aftertaste and aromas of vanilla and tobacco. One of the most remarkable characteristics is expressed in the smoothness of its ripe tannins combined with the fruit. Itis a satisfying and easy to drink wine that is greatly underappreciated.
Algodon wants to celebrate Bonarda in order to call attention to this terrific varietal, but also to emphasize Argentina's important role as a leader in world wine production and quality.