Robert Foley Vineyards Charbono 2017
Robert Foley, the talent behind super-premium Napa labels – Hourglass, Pride Mountain – crafts a big, bold red in this rare Charbono that can rival the best Cabernet or Bordeaux blend, at a fraction of the price compared to other Napa heavyweights!
Foley has put in work on Howell Mountain in Napa since 1977 and has been involved with SO many prestige projects: Hourglass, Pride Mountain, School House...legendary. And he's one of Charbono’s biggest champions, sourcing for years from Peter Heitz’s crazy-old vines (planted in 1904!) from the Shypoke vineyard Calistoga.
It’s a rare grape, thought to have been brought to the U.S. by European settlers in the 19th century; there’s an estimated less than 80 acres in the entire state left; you can count the estates who still grow it on one hand. The grape is magical in its ability to be both low-abv and ripe and forward. The 2017 clocks a mere 13.5%, a mind-bending feat when most Napa reds weigh in at 14.5% or more!
Bursting with juicy blue fruit, brambly blackberry, pie crust, purple flowers, mocha, warm spice, and a tangy blueberry-tobacco laced finish, it’s a delicious drink now and will surely continue to evolve in bottle.
After Prohibition was repealed, Charbono rose in popularity, particularly by the historic Inglenook winery. Bob Foley’s love affair with the grape resulted in his tasting one of these historic Inglenook bottlings, and ever since has bought Heitz’s Charbono every year without fail. Wineries – from Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon and the mass-produced “Prisoner” label – have used a generous dose of Heitz’s Charbono as part of their “secret sauce” for years to add that juicy plumpness to their reds.
The San Francisco Chronicle calls it “refreshing antidote to the heavy-wrought polish that afflicts many modern Napa wines. And when it’s aged, the best Charbonos prove that the variety can indeed yield a truly worthy, serious wine, one that can hold onto a core of bright, vibrant fruit for decades while developing layers of texture.”
His flagship Cabernets trade for $125-$200/bottle -- this Charbono is every bit delicious, plump, and juicy for just $40! Only 500 cases made, and we got all we could!