And now for something totally different…

I’m gonna make this pencil disappear!
2005 Fortitude Field Blend Napa
Red Wine; other red varietal; Napa;
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The perfect scenario: Saturday night, following a lovely dinner and successfully getting my ebullient child early to bed, a chance to finally catch a flick – The Dark Knight! The evening was made all the better with a bottle of 2005 Frediani Field Blend from Fortitude. Like the movie, this is a really dark stuff. A black-fruited complex mélange of Charbono (58%), Carignane (32%), Petite Sirah (5%), and Valdiguie (5%), this unique blend from Napa Valley is a project conceived by Tony Soter of Etude Wines. The idea behind the project is to honor multi-generational wine growers by putting their name smack dab in the middle of the label. Now the Frediani name is not new to us, as we’ve been enjoying T-Vine Wine Cellars Napa Valley Syrah from this self-same vineyard for many vintages. I read somewhere that the Frediani family have been farming in the Napa Valley since 1898. Today, the Frediani’s farm about 9 acres of Charbono, the oldest vines planted in 1935!!! While I’m throwing out a bunch of statistics, here are some more: there are less than 100 acres of Charbono grown in California, half of it in northern Napa Valley. Not too many folks making wine with this grape and it’s a shame really.
Charbono was once thought to be related to Barbera or Dolcetto. After tasting the Frediani Field Blend, you can easily understand how this confusion could have occurred. The Frediani Field Blend has lovely blueberry and plum flavors, gentle tannins with some rip-roaring lively acidity. The Frediani Field Blend is Italianesque; it has none of the overpowering fruitiness one associates with New World wines. It is now known that Charbono is in fact related to a grape, one with many names, grown in the Savoie region of France and may ultimately be a relative of Dolcetto. This of course is all very interesting, but what about the wine? Well, as I’ve noted, there are layers of tart plum and darker berry flavors with an uncommon acid structure that I found pleasurable and refreshing. The first time I tasted this wine I was transported to a time when California made heartier, more rustic wines. Not to mention, it has 12.8% alcohol, which is practically unheard of these days. Not that I’m a basher of high alcohol wines (just like with oak, its all about the balance!), I think the lower alcohol translates to a brighter, more vivid fruit experience. Pair with tomato-based sauces or gooey cheesy things, as it will be able to cut through the fat or complement the acid in the tomatoes. I know what you’re thinking, ’cause so am I – PIZZA! Va Bene! So next time you find yourself enjoying a movie night at home, remember to order up your favorite pie, pour yourself a glass of the Frediani Field Blend and enjoy the show! Last month I made a point to mention Mother’s Day. I feel equally compelled to send greetings and shout-outs to all the Fathers out there celebrating their Day this Sunday. Thank you for all you do! Papachka, ya tebe lyublu. Anechka Balistreri


Filed under Anya Balistreri

6 responses to “And now for something totally different…

  1. The wine sounds spectacular! I’ve not seen it at area stores, can I order it online?

    • winehousesf

      Dear Will,
      Yes, you can order the wine online. You can either click on the link below the wine image or go to our store’s online website at Of course, you can always call us with your order at (800)966-8468. Thank you for your inquiry.

      Best Regards,

  2. Pingback: Napa Wine

  3. Good folks, great inlaws, killer grapes! “Discover” CS, CF or Zin from Frediani, Bona-fide Calistoga growers since 1900.

  4. Pingback: Napa Valley Wines

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