2016 Robert Foley Charbono Napa Valley
Vintage : 2016
Country : USA
Region : Napa Valley
Robert (Bob) Foley began his wine making career in the Napa Valley in 1977, having just graduated from UC Davis with degrees in both Viticulture and Enology. He spent his first year working for Heitz Cellars, followed by 15 years as the founding winemaker for Markham Vineyards.
In 1992, Bob began another 15 years as the founding winemaker for Pride Mountain Vineyards. During this period, he also created the highly acclaimed Switchback Ridge, Hourglass, Paloma, and School House wines. He now focuses mostly on Robert Foley Vineyards wines, but also creates the offerings of Shelter, Padis Vineyards, Herson Family Vineyards, and JennaMarise Wines in the Napa Valley.
In 1998 Robert Foley Vineyards bottled its flagship Claret and has since expanded and diversified its production to offer more of the big reds Bob is famous for – Petite Sirah, Merlot, Charbono, the limited-release Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and Howell Mountain Merlot from our estate property, a Carneros Pinot Noir, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, an Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon called Kelly's Mountain Cuvée, a Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, and The Griffin (a blend of the best in the red cellar). Bob has also bottled three of his favorites: a medium-bodied Chardonnay, a Syrah that we call Kelly's Cuvée, and a Port-style dessert wine named Conclusão.
Bob’s reputation for producing very expressive wines that finish gracefully continues to develop at his winery facility on Napa County’s Howell Mountain, where more than 1,500 barrels are housed in an extensive cave system (completed in 2008) for the production of Robert Foley wines.
Robert Foley Vineyards is a full-time staff of three that handcrafts the wines (Bob) and run the office (Kelly and Shannon). In the tasting room, Kelly's dad Jerry helps out from time to time.
Mina, Spike, and Magoo are the feline Office Interns in charge of treats, naps, and distraction, while Princess Bella presides as our official Winery Cat.
When Bob's not making wine, he spends time with his wife (and RFV's business manager) Kelly Kehoe, and his children and granddaughters. You can also find him singing and playing guitar in The Robert Foley Band or SCUBA diving.
Charbono shows a rare combination for a California red of thorough ripeness and bright tangy acidity. The 2016 Charbono offers ripe, red berry candy, and grape jelly aromas with just a touch of lavender floral character. Very lively acidity and medium body address the palate with very fine gentle tannin. Beautifully balanced. This is a very versatile food wine. Charbono is one of the lost grape varieties – almost. Recent reports indicate there are only about 90 acres of this variety in existence, half of this in Napa county. The original cuttings were imported to Calistoga in the Napa Valley from the Savoie region in the French Alps in about 1880. Its original name was Doux Noir, or “soft black,” later called Charbonneau (carbon water). Subsequently, Charbono was wiped out in Europe by the Phylloxera root louse infestation. Some believed it to be the Italian grape variety Dolcetto but this was proven not to be the case through genetic testing. After repeal of Prohibition in the U.S., Charbono was used by Inglenook for blending with their new Cask Cabernet wines and small amounts were bottled as varietal wine. I tasted the 1968 Inglenook Charbono from cask in 1969 and was inspired to become a winemaker with that taste