Charbono is special. It is a dying heirloom varietal that is slowly finding new life. Originally hailing from the Savoie and a favorite planting in the Napa Valley in its earliest days, Shypoke has its own Charbono vineyards that have been on their Calistoga Ranch since 1904. A singular expression of the varietal in Rosé form, it is fuller bodied and well balanced with pomegranate and darker red fruits such as cherry expressing themselves in the wine. In a wine world filled with walls of pink, this Rosé stands on its own in style as well as varietal expression. Shypoke, Rosé Charbono 2019 Calistoga Full bottle 1,211 g. Whole-cluster Charbono (the Douce Noir from Savoie), hand-picked at 50% veraison, typically in mid August, leaving more even ripeness for the red Charbono, picked later. Gentle press to minimise skin maceration. Cold-settled overnight, racked off gross solids and fermented at 55°F until dryness (4+ weeks). 92 cases produced.
Clear bottle. Pale orangey pink, gleaming. More stony than fruity, with a sour-plum aroma, herbal too. After a rather subdued nose, the palate is quite a surprise, a blast of zesty, rounded but bone-dry and slightly sour/mineral red-fruit flavours. Unusual and probably better as a food wine than an aperitif. Gently chewy texture even though it is not particularly tannic. Intense for a wine with modest alcohol. Not in the least flirtatious or pretty but interesting, and if I had had this blind, I would have thought there had been some skin contact. Long and freshly sour on the finish. (JH) 12%