Judges Selection  2017 Alberta Beverage Awards

Judges Selection 2017 Alberta Beverage Awards

CHAYEE BOURRAS  Bonarda Reserva

Tasting Notes

Intense bright red with shades of black, the Bonarda Reserva has intense aromas of black and red fruits, ripe berries with a spicy background and complex notes of vanilla, coffee and roasted oak. Sweet attack with ripe tannins and well integrated fruit. Mature wood leaves a reminder of coffee and vanilla with strawberry jam characteristic of the grape.

Bonarda (aka Douce Noir in Savoy, France; aka Charbono in Napa)

Bonarda was the most cultivated grape in Argentina up until the last decade or so when it was overtaken by Malbec. It thrives in the unique climate of Mendoza, but there has been some confusion about the origins of the grape. Originally believed to be an import from Italy, related to Bonarda Piemontese, when researchers examined the DNA it was discovered in fact to be a descendent of Douce Noir from the Savoy region of France. The same grapes are also found in some old vineyards in Napa, where it is known as Charbono. Confusing, right?

Argentine Bonarda are at first very fruity on the nose, with notes of black cherry compote, fresh blueberry, and plum. Then, they become more complex, giving off nuanced aromas of violets, 5-spice, allspice, and peonies. When aged in oak, such as with the Reserva, they take on slightly smokey notes of cigar box, sweet figs, and chocolate. On the palate, Bonarda has an initial burst of fruitiness, a medium-body, juicy acidity, and a smooth, low-tannin finish. It tastes like an exotic Merlot and it’s just as easy to drink.

AB CSPC + 764954
BC CSPC +694976
Vintage:  2012
Case:  6x750ml
Region: San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina
Varietals:  100% Bonarda
Alcohol:  14%


San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina

San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina

Region & Vineyard Notes

Cuadro Benegas is located on a mountainous elevation near the town of San Rafael in the heart of Mendoza. The vineyards are planted in sandy loam soil, in the foothills of Sierra Pintada, 800 meters above sea level. Irrigated by the famous river Diamante, the vineyards are exposed to harsh weather, extreme temperatures, snowfalls, high thermal fluctuations in summer -- all ideal conditions for the cultivation of vines as they provide the wine of the region with a particular style.

Technical Notes

Age of Vines: 50+ years
Soil: sandy loam
Altitude: 800 m
Total Acidity: 6 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.17 g/l
Yield per hectare: 90 q/ha
Winemaking:  Manual harvest and grape selection at optimum ripeness. Cold pre-fermentation maceration for 72-96 hours. 7-day fermentation in 5,000l conical stainless steel tanks, filled by gravity. Pumping over operations to extract the best of the skins. Aged 6 months in oak barrels, 70% French and 30% American.