We have long been fans of the very impressive wines from the Lafite Rothschild family made in collaboration with the Catena family in Argentina - the name CARO comes from the two families - CAtena and ROthschild. This wine may well represent their best release to date. 2012 CARO, Barons de Rothschild/Catena, Mendoza "Incredible aromas of spice, cedar, walnut and dark berry.
From a standing start, barely four years ago, when nobody had heard of Malbec (indeed, the Argentineans were busy pulling it up in favour of sexier varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon), Malbec is now completely and totally ‘in’.
You may have noticed us making quite a fuss over the years about the fantastically good Pinot Noirs from Bodegas Chacra in Patagonia. But, planted alongside the 1955 vineyard is a block of Merlot vines and we haven’t made nearly enough noise about them. Here is the noise.
The winegang’s January report includes on L&S wines tasted last year at our Sangiovese, Pinot Noir & Nebbiolo tasting and at The Bunch’s trade tasting. “The scores from both events speak for themselves” they say. Speak away…
The theme, such as you need a theme beyond ‘Christmas’, was to put a few less likely wines in front of people, to test and tantalize the taste-buds. With that in mind, we left out the traditional option of Champagne, and kicked off with the very splendid Gusbourne 2008 Brut Reserve from the Garden of England, a zippy but textured fizz that works really well as an aperitif.
The Barda 2011 Bodegas Chacra is our best value Pinot Noir, the best value Pinot Noir you will find this side of a day dream.
PINOT PERFECTION Bodega Chacra, Argentina. When we introduced Bodega Chacra’s Pinot Noirs from Argentina two years ago, they were initially met with some scepticism. How could a country famous for producing monster Malbecs, brimming with rich, ripe fruit and high alcohol possibly produce Pinot Noirs which were anything other than monsters too? Well, Bodega Chacra is quite simply unique.
From the world’s most southern vineyards, set in the arid, desert like planes of Patagonia, Bodega Chacra produces three exceptional Pinot Noirs. Owned and headed up by the charming Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, the family famous for their San Guido (Sassicaia) estate in Bolgheri, their pedigree is almost guaranteed… Three cuvées are produced by world renowned winemaker Hans Vinding Diers. The ’55’ (Cincuenta y Cinco) and ’32’ (Treinta y Dos) cuvées are named after the year the vineyards were planted, while a third wine called ‘Barda’ is produced from vines replanted on the original site of the 1932 site, as well as ‘declassified’ grapes from the premium vineyards.
Lea & Sandeman Pinot Noir - the Wine Gang report A selection of fabulous drinking Pinot Noirs as selected by the Wine Gang in their March report. 'This was in fact a tripartite tasting, with a substantial Nebbiolo flight between the Pinot Noirs and the Sangiovese, but we're putting the spotlight on the latter two this month and will cover the Piedmont reds in a forthcoming report.