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What our expert thought of The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree, Bonarda

the tasting

The Tasting

A very deep and almost opaque purple-red, this is almost as dark as Cabernet Sauvignon but less black and more colourful.  Swirling leaves strong, slow legs on the side of the glass, hinting at high alcohol and extract.
It has a warm, enveloping nose, full of rich fruit and smoky oak.  There’s a profusion of red and black fruits: stewed plum, black cherry and blackberry, backed up by notes of chocolate, balsamic, eucalyptus and mint.  The high alcohol lends a hint of framboise eau-de-vie.
The full-bodied palate is dry but very sweet-fruited.  It’s hard to identify which fruits, but there are definitely figs in there.  Acidity is better than expected given the ripeness, and notes of cola, marzipan and aniseed add complexity.  Super-smooth, velvety tannins provide a touch of bitterness to balance all that sweet fruit.
Alcoholic heat is apparent on the long, savoury finish, which is juicy with acidity despite the tannin, and leaves a warm afterglow.


Oh, this is plush!  A winter warmer of a wine, drinking it is a bit like being wrapped up in a blanket.  Yet it doesn’t become cloying because its acidity and tannins provide the structure to frame those rich, almost decadent flavours.
The oak is particularly well-judged.  Having spent a year in barrel I was expecting more obvious vanilla flavours, but these must have been larger barrels and most of them used.  Their main contribution has been to round out and integrate the flavours, and to soften the tannins.  Three years in bottle has played a role there too.
Smooth, round and polished, this wine is very easy to like and dangerously easy to drink.  This is my first Bonarda, and I suspect they’re not all as good as this one.  But on this showing, I like it better than Malbec!

Tasting notes

clear deep purple-red, almost opaque

Intensity medium+

Aromas rich red fruit (stewed plum, framboise), black fruit (cherry, blackberry), herbs (mint, eucalyptus), oak (smoke), alcohol (eau de vie)

Development developing

Sweetness dry, but v. sweet-fruited

Acidity medium (better than expected, given ripeness)

Body full

Tannins medium+, slight bitterness, but super-smooth and velvety

Intensity medium+

Flavours well-integrated ripe black fruit (esp. fig), cola, marzipan, spice (anise)

Length long

Flavours as palate, savoury, juicy despite tannins. Warm afterglow.
Other notes
Rich, round & polished. Very easy to like, and to drink.

Decanting Club expert
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