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Bonarda

A new grape variety always feels like a discovery journey and with this Bonarda it was not any different!

It is a name that I have already heard before, but never really gave it any attention and never really tasted.

There is a lot of confusion about the names Bonarda and Bonarda Piemontese. This last one is a grape variety from the northern part of Italy and has nothing tody with this Bonarda.

The Bonarda is actually a grape coming from France, where it is referred as the Douce Noir, which quite literally means tender black. It is a small red grape with a very thick skin coming from the Savoie region. A region next to Switzerland, near the lake of Geneva.

In the original area the grape is now considered to be very rare, but in Argentina it is the most planted red grape, next to Malbec! The reason that we do not hear a lot from this grape is because it is mainly used for bulk wines or to be used to complement other varieties in different countries. With the right care and knowledge however the grape can provide a very smooth wine with spicy notes and fruity characters.

Notes of dried plums can be found in the nose, along with cherries and fresh figs, but also notes of pencil sharps. In terms of spicy notes we mainly find cardemon, cumin and nutmeg. The wine has been aged on wood, but is still very smooth and has a lot of pleasant, soft tannins.

Because of the smooth and spicy character, the Bonarda goes very well with spicy dishes like rendang or a mild curry with potatoes and chicken.

The discovery of this rarity only nurishes my enthusiasm and I will keep posting that still a lof of grapes and wine regions sometimes have a bad reputation taht they do not deserve. With great joy I will keep discovering these beauties to show people there is a different way!