Corbeau is a black grape from France. It is also well-known under names such as Douce Noir (in France), Bonarda (in Argentina and Italy), and Charbono (in California).
Corbeau is recognised for keeping its levels of acidity also when left to become fully ripe. It is a grape that is fairly aromatic, expressing flavours of red fruit, particularly strawberries.
If from Argentina, you can also find black current, cherry, fennel and dried figs. If not allowed to fully ripe, you might find some green, vegetative notes as well.
Corbeau has a history of often being used for blending. However, more and more growers are now producing it as a dry varietal wine, especially in Argentina and California, but also in north-eastern Italy.
Nice food pairing with a Corbeau/Douce Noir/Bonarda/Charbono is a dish with red meat, nicely seasoned without being too spicy. A creamy sauce will help emphasise the wine’s red fruit flavours even more. The wine is best served at 14-16°C/57-61°F.
Where is it grown?
Corbeau is the third most planted grape Argentina, where its plantings have increased with twenty percent in ten years. It is however losing ground in other countries, for example north-eastern Italy.
- Argentina 18.127 ha/44,493 ac, MPG rank 3
- Italy 815 ha/2,014 ac, MPG rank 82
Plantings in Argentina are found mainly in the regions Mendoza and San Juan. Very small plantings can also be found in several Californian sub regions.
Corbeau is recognised as coming from Savoy, e.g. from the part of the former Savoie Duchy that remains in the Val d’Aosta region in north-western Italy, where it borders to France and Switzerland.
The grape has a history of being brought to different parts of the world by Italian emigrants, and, as part of this, being confused with other varieties, for example Barbera Nera and Dolcetto Nero.