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Douce Noir grapes

by | Dec 23, 2016

Douce noir is one of the most popular and loved Italian wine grape. This red wine grape was grown historically in Italy only, but, today this red wine grape variety is also broadly grown in Argentina.

Douce Noir

Also, it is planted in California. It is known by different names at different places. The wine is also one of the most loved red wines of all times. It has rich notes and taste which is hard to find in other wines.

Especially in California, where this wine is quite rare and is tagged as “cult wine” as it is produced in limited amount there. The wine has a rich history and amazing characters.

Though it is grown only in a few places, including Argentina and Italy, but, the lovers of this wine are scattered across the world.

Wine grape varieties

This wine is known by many names. In California, it is known by the name Charbono and in Argentina, it is known by the name Bonarda.

Other names of this grape are Aleante, Alcantino, Bathiolin (Albertville), Batiolin, Blaue Gansfuesser, Bourdon noir, Charbonneau (Jura), Carbonneau, Corbeau, Cot Merille, Cote Rouge, JuraCot Rouge Merille, Dolutz, Dolcetto Grosso, Folle Noire d L’Ariege, Mauvais noir, Grenoblois, Ocanette, Korbo, Plant de Calarin, Picot Rouge, Plant de Montmelion, Plant de Turin (Jura), Plant de Savoie, Plant noir, Turca (Italy’s Trentino region), Turino and Turin (Jura).

Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…



History says that this grape has originated in Italy in the Piedmont wine region, but the ampelographers today, say that this wine grape originated in North- West Italy’s Savoie region.

This grape was planted in Montmelian and Arbin areas and it became the most widely planted grape in Savoie by the 19th century.

A photo posted by monicahjorth (@monicahjorth) on

Tracing the first ever mention of this grape would take us 3000 years back. The first mention was around three thousand years ago when the Etruscans planted this grape in Padana region.

By the early 19th century, this grape made its way to eastern France and by the end of the 19th century it spread all over France. It also made its way to Argentina and Jura.


This is a very late ripening variety of grape. It is usually harvested after harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon. It is pruned early in January. It is a thick skinned grape and has high phenol content.

The ideal vineyards are the warm- climate sites that have diurnal temperature variation from drop in nocturnal temperature.

Wine Regions

It is the second most planted red grape variety in Argentina possessing 46, 354 acres (18, 759 hectares).  The major wine regions are Mendoza wine region, La Rioja wine region and San Juan provinces.

By 2007, there were mere 5 acres (2 hectare) plantings in Savoie and in Jura. In California, by 2008, there were about 88 acres (36 hectares) covered the planting and majorly in Napa Valley.

Other plantings include American Viticultural Areas of Madera, Monterey, Mendocino Lodi, Sierra Foothills, Mount Veeder and Dos Rios.

Characteristics of Douce noir

Douce noir is a blending wine of the mid- palate of the wine. The Douce noir grape is also used for making varietal wines in California.

The wine produced by this red grape variety is quite dense and medium to full bodied wine. The colour of the wine is deep, inky purple.

The wine possesses mild acidity. It is an aromatic wine that oozes out mild aroma of black fruit and plum.

As the wine ages, it gives the flavour notes of tar and leather notes. It is a silky and elegant wine which is particularly low in tannins. It carries smoky character. The wine is high in phenolic content.

In Argentina, the wine shows a little different character. The major characters of the wine remain the same, but it shows a little individualism in Argentina.

It carries a deep purple hue. It gives notes of fennel, cassis, dried fig and cherries. The taste remains incredible all over.

Food Pairings with Douce noir

Douce noir is considered as a versatile wine due to the moderate alcohol levels. Due to this, it can be paired with many foods.

It can be served with cheese dishes that too in very heavy sauce. This wine also tastes very nice with Morcilla (black pudding).


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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