Wine Time

Wine of the Week: Colonia Las Liebres 2008 Bonarda

One way to drown the sorrows of a horrible Monday Night Football game featuring the disappointing Texans, is to open up a sample bottle of Bonarda direct from Argentina, and pretend that I'm no longer in Houston, but in the cellar of a mysterious and romantic winery down South America way.

Only surpassed by its flagship varietal of Malbec, the second most planted grape in Argentina is Bonarda. The story of Bonarda is complicated and involves several regions in Italy and lots of supposed lies that the Argentine version isn't really "Bonarda," but a varietal known as Charbono, which is actually known as Corbeau in French. Confused yet? Don't worry, me too.

Essentially, Charbono/Corbeau is known as Bonarda in Argentina, but if you look for the grape of that moniker in Italy, you could find up to three separate grapes throughout the country that share the same name.

So, how does the Colonia Las Liebres 2008 Bonarda taste? It's almost black - a deep, dark and opaque maroon with plenty of acidity and some notes of caramel, spice and raisins and a nice, thick mouthfeel. Although it's not oaked, it still has a touch of warmth that rounds out the wine for a soft finish despite the dryness left by the tannins. It's not overly complex, but it's a substantial red for the price of $10 - $12 that will prove much less mediocre than the Texans' flabby offense.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amber Ambrose