2005 Turley "Tofanelli" Napa Valley Charbono (Previously $60)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Charbono Tofanelli Vineyard possesses a generic, Cotes du Rhone-like character with a dark ruby/purple hue, crisp, tangy acidity, and an earthy, loamy soil note intermixed with red and black fruits. The finish falls off a bit, but remember, this is Charbono, not Cabernet Sauvignon. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Black cherry, dark chocolate and spices on the nose. Juicy and tight, with bright acidity keeping the fruit and spice flavors under wraps today. Finishes with rather fine tannins and lingering notes of licorice and mint. (ST)
Firm and muscular, with peppery berry flavors. Shows an herbal, eucalyptus, floral note, with spice and refreshing acidity that balances with firm tannins. (MW, Web-2008)
Charbono is a mysterious red variety with origins in eastern France, but today is found mostly in the Napa Valley, where it's a rare "heritage" grape, and Argentina, where it's called Bonarda. The best of it may very well come from the Tofanelli Vineyard. A food-friendly varietal, enjoy with barbecued lamb or beef or pan-seared, black pepper duck.