Bonarda (Douce Noire)
Classic aromas of Bonarda are: Strawberry, Black Plum, Black and Red Cherries, and Red Plums
Bonarda is one of the most prolific exports from France to South America. Bonarda is widely planted throughout Argentina and only just behind Malbec in total plantings there. Bonarda, as you can see above, is also known as Douce Noire. Douce Noire is the French name given to it and it dates back to the early 19th century from the region Savoie. It was originally known as Corbeau (referring to the black colour of the 'crow') but was changed to Douce Noire as it was a more palatable name.
Though originally a French grape there is now a mere 2ha of Douce Noire across the country. It is solely in the Savoie, where is has always been, and it known as Douce Noire. Here it produces light, refreshing red wines - akin to Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc.
There is a touch also in California. Roughly 35ha have been planted with Douce Noire - here it is called Charbono, though, and makes more meaty wines. It is often blended into Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines or a small single varietal bottling as a cellar door speciality.
Bonarda is the grape to know in Argentina with over 18,500ha across the country. Like most of the vines in Argentina, the majority of Bonarda is found in the regions of Mendoza and San Juan. Due to so much Bonarda planted around it is easy to find a wide range of styles being produced. Everything from light and easy-drinking examples to the more fuller in body and complex styles. Overall, Bonarda produces wines that are rich in flavour and have soft tannins. Aromatics tend to be in the red and purple fruit spectrum.