Ah, charbono. There’s a picture somewhere around my computer (and even online I think, gulp) of me and an empty 3-litre bottle of 1981 Inglenook Charbono in a rather compromising position. Anyway, the wine was delicious, subtle and complex, with a savoriness that perfectly matched the braised lamb shanks we ate that night. It had aged beautifully despite spending many years on a closet floor in suburban Napa. A true testament to the old (dry-farmed?) charbono vines that were planted at Inglenook for much of the 20th century. I’m sure it’s all grafted, or replanted, to cabernet now–that terroir instead going towards the lofty Rubicon rather than an earthy old schooler like charbono. Although I’ll admit to quite liking Rubicon, it’s fun to imagine what prime Rutherford charbono would be like these days.
North Carolina wine maven Scott Luetgenau added:
Coturri makes a good Charbono. I remember reading that it may have originated in the Savoie region of France and had previously been called Douce Noir.
I’d like to get my hands on a bottle of the Coturri Charbono.
Messere Alfonso Cevola also weighed in on the “to irrigate or not to irrigate” question. I think that he’s 100% on the money when he asks rhetorically, “Maybe they shouldn’t plant vines where vines are not meant to be?”
Not sure I agree with allowing irrigating in the Brunello DOC. We’ve seen producers in other low lying land (Napa Valley floor, for instance) who have access to irrigation, with resulting vines producing a shallow root system that isn’t drought resistant. So in light of the current situation, I don’t think that would help to steer Brunello back in the right direction. Maybe they shouldn’t plant vines where vines are not meant to be?
Lastly, Mark Fornatale, whom I met for the first time this year at Vinitaly, sent me a correction for the record. For those of you who followed the thread generated by my Squires Paradox post, Mark pointed out that it was not he but rather another Squires chat room regular who posted erroneous information about Dante Rivetti and Borgogno:
Allow me to set the record straight. I never posted that Rivetti would have a hand in the winemaking operations at Borgogno. Ralph Michels, a small client of Borgogno in the Paesi Bassi [Low Countries] had suggested as much on the board, and I immediately saw to it that he correct himself, which he did.
As a result, Franco and I posted an errata corrige for the record on VinoWire.
In other news…
Speaking of the Agora, can anyone help me to attribute the following ingenious wordplay?
Sassi per tutta Atene.