While the mysteries surrounding Charbono have for the most part been solved, back in the day it was truly an enigmatic grape. Because it shares a physical trait with Dolcetto (red veining in its leaf structure) it was thought to be related. And because many tons of it had been crushed as Barbera (at Inglenook, where they should have known better) it was referred to as Barbera.
Well one trait they do share is later ripening. Other traits they definitely do not share are many, including - lower vs. greater pigmentation, high vs. low acid and minimal vs. formidable tannins. The mystery lasted until research of grape genetics using DNA became more widely used, along with an ampelographic focus on its origins, to realize it is a unique cultivar.
However we never let a lack of exact knowledge get in the way of enjoying the mystery of Charbono, a journey we embarked upon over 25 years ago, back when we made our first Charbono (coincidentally from an historic Inglenook vineyard source).