2006 Robert Foley Napa Valley Charbono

SKU #1037133 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Highly aromatic nose offers sour cherry, blueberry, bitter chocolate, licorice, minerals and leather; I could have imaged Malbec! Juicy, spicy and pure, with lovely fruit purity and framing minerality. Bright acids really extend the fruit and the tannins are sweet. A very successful vintage for this offbeat bottling. (ST)  (5/2008)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The new releases include a tasty 2006 Charbono, which offers attractive earthy, blackberry, raspberry, chocolate, and damp forest characteristics. Tasty, round, and medium-bodied with no hard edges... Now that the highly talented Robert Foley is no longer the full-time winemaker at Pride Mountain Vineyards, he appears to be focusing on his own label as well as consulting for other wineries. (RP)  (12/2008)

Wine Spectator

 Densely tannic, with dark, perfumed grape, wild blackberry, licorice, cedar and gingerbread flavors that persist on the long finish. (MW)  (5/2008)

K&L Notes

Charbono is a little-known grape that has traveled from Savoie and Argentina to small pockets around Napa Valley. It's a wonderfully food-friendly grape that is well worth seeking out. Robert Foley's 2006 Charbonno holds itself quite regally in the glass, shimmering deep purple. Grapey fruitiness and a fresh acidity makes this a distinguished accompaniment to almost any meal.

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- Charbono is a mysterious red varietal from California, found mainly in the Napa Valley, known for high tannins and high acidity. While its origins are unknown, some suggest it may be related to Italy's Dolcetto, while others claim its origins are more likely to be the rare French variety Corbeau.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.