Laithwaites buy 6 save 30%
Laithwaites buy 6 save 30%
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Case price from: £8.24
Per item: £10.99 £8.24
Save 25%
Santa Julia Reserve Valle de Uco Bonarda
Case price from: £13.99
Per item: £13.99 £7.74 (with voucher)
Save 45%
Florel Vat 4 Reserve Bonarda Malbec
Case price from: £95.09
Per item: £15.85
Estacion 1883 Bonarda, Trapiche
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What Is Bonarda?

Bonarda is the second most planted black grape in Argentina but has suffered from gaining any real exposure due to the explosion of Malbec. But, times can change and give you a great chance to try this wonderful grape. It was originally thought to be related to the Bonarda Piemontese grape of Italy (just one of 6 of their Bonarda grapes), but this is no longer thought to be the case.

It is mainly planted in warm regions to create high yielding, deep coloured wines which are mostly drank by the Argentinians themselves (about 75% of production!). Interestingly, it doesn't tend to mix too well with oak so when it is used, it is done sparingly and with old barrels. Bonarda is actually quite a popular blending grape too due to it's strong fruit flavour and deep colour - Malbec and Cab are the usual suspects for blending.

In Argentina, you'll find Bonarda in the North and East of Mendoza, where it is developing a reputation for quality wines. It's also found in Maipu which is next door to Mendoza where again producers are exploring with making it at lower yields and therefore better wines. Salta is the other region of note, a region which is renowned for seriously high altitude vineyards going over 3000m above sea level.

What Does BonardaTaste Like?

As with all wines, Bonarda differs considerably in style, depending on where it is grown, winemaking influence (oak etc) and yield, but its trademark characteristics are its deep colour, red and black fruits, herbaceous undertone, and slightly higher acidity levels than many reds. But that plays an important role in balancing the wines. Where it mainly differs from Malbec is in the lower tannin and body count as well as focus on fruit rather than additional oak influence.

What Food Does Bonarda Pair With?

The less full on body and tannin style of Bonarda actually give it a range of options. You aren't just railroaded into red meats with this one - think chicken and salmon fillets too. The herbaceous nature and higher acidity can also make it a great match with Asian cuisine from sweet and sour styles to a Thai curry.

It is a diverse grape worthy of your attention - So, wine explorers, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a good bottle of Argentinian Bonarda today and give Malbec a break.

by David Andrews,
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Laithwaites buy 6 save 30%