Wine of the Week - David Williams, The Guardian
Las Piletas Bonarda, Santa Rosa, Argentina 2017. The one downside to the success story of Argentinian malbec is that it has rather overshadowed the country’s many other vinous delights. Among them is bonarda, a red grape variety that was in fact predictably disappointing until very recently, but is now being taken more seriously by some of the country’s most talented growers with deliciously distinctive results.
Once assumed to be the grape of the same name grown in Piedmont in northwest Italy, bonarda turns out to be an Argentinian pen name for douce noir from Savoie in Alpine eastern France. Curiously, however, the way growers such as Matías Riccitelli and Sebastian Zuccardi deal with it brings a decidedly Italianate mix of inky colour and cherry-berry-ish succulence.
Zuccardi’s vivid Las Piletas is a supple, refreshing, valpolicella-like bargain; Ricchitelli The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree Bonarda 2016 (£18.99, Great Wines Direct), is deep and spicy.