The bonarda (aka croatina) grape offers great values in Italy
Looking for a great value in Italian wines? We have got one red grape variety to add to your list: bonarda. We have pulled our review of wines from this tasty and little-known grape variety from our app’s description.
Bonarda is the local name for the croatina grape in Lombardy (and Emilia-Romagna) and bears no relation to the bonardas of Argentina and Piedmont. The mid- to late-ripening grape delivers wines with dark color, gushing fruit, low acidity and soft tannins, often resembling montepulciano or dolcetto in expression.
It achieves its highest levels in:
(1) Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese DOC* (and the Casteggio DOC sub-area), located in the foothills of the Apennines mountains on limestone-rich clay soils. In wines alternatively labelled as Oltrepò Pavese Rosso, Sangue di Giuda or Buttafuoco, it is mixed chiefly with barbera and typically remains over 50%; it is also made into varietally-labelled wines in which it makes up at least 85% (riserva wines are aged for a minimum of 24 months). They often represent very good price-value. Look for it also in the blends of the San Colombano al Lambro / San Colombano DOC.
(2) Emilia-Romagna’s Colli Piacentini DOC*, where it is made into varietally-labelled wines (minimum 85% croatina). It also makes up a portion of blends, typically taking a secondary position to barbera or pinot nero, in the Colli Piacentini’s Gutturnio and Novello sub-areas.
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