CHACRA '55' PINOT NOIR
2012 Bodega Chacra
From a vineyard planted in 1955, this is the middle of Bodega Chacra's three Pinot Noirs in terms of quality/price. The house-style is one of fine-featured elegance, but this is a many-layered wine, with strawberry aromas just the top-notes to some deeper, spicier, forest-walk flavours. Rating: 91 www.thewinegang.com (Apr 2016)
*Case Price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2012 Cincuenta y Cinco was sourced from a ripe vintage which resulted in a juicy, ripe, slightly candied Pinot Noir that shows aromas of sweet spices (cinnamon, vanilla). Despite all that, the wine only had 12.9% alcohol so the palate is fresher than the nose and has abundant fine tannins that would do well with food. Some 17,500 bottles were produced in 2012 Drinking range: 2015 - 2020 Rating: 91-91 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com (Aug 2015)
An opulent and rich pinot noir with spice, berry and dried strawberry. Full and powerful. Lots of fruity, flavorful character. Very Burgundian. Whole berry fermentation with pinot noir that's biodynamically grown. Drink now. Rating: 93-93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (May 2015)
Pale-medium red. Tangy, shy aromas of raspberry, strawberry, cherry, peppery spices, horseradish and underbrush. Juicy, delicate and nicely delineated but youthfully tight, with pepper and herb notes accenting tart red berry flavors. Relies more on its bright acidity than on its dusty tannins for structure. Subtle and understated pinot. Rating: 90 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com (Apr 2014)
The name of the wine refers to the year the vines were planted (1955, for non Spanish speakers). There’s also 2% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, which adds a green pepper undertone. But it’s the quality of the Pinot that shines through, along with the restrained alcohol and refined, herbal flavours. A wine that grows and develops in the glass. Drink: 2014-18 Rating: 93-93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Jan 2014)
Bodega Chacra is Piero Incisa della Rochetta's personal project in Rio Negro, Argentina (Patagonia). It mainly produces Pinot Noir, made by the highly-regarded winemaker Hans Vinding Diers. In 2004 Piero Incisa purchased the first of the Chacra vineyards, an abandoned plot planted in 1932. This single vineyard of gnarled Pinot Noir vines, planted on their own rootstocks, is head trained and produces tiny bunches of small, concentrated berries.
Two more sites soon followed, one vineyard planted with Pinot Noir in 1955 and another in 1967. A fourth vineyard was then planted on the site of the original 1932 vineyard, using only rootstocks taken from both the 1932 and 1955 plots. This last vineyard is the basis for the 'Barda' wine, together with deselected grapes and wines from the single vineyard plots. The gravels and coarse alluvial pebbles, with a significant limestone content in the soils, together with a fresh, dry climate and great luminosity, allow for the minimum treatment in the vineyard and allowing for biodynamic practices to be followed, which combined with a green harvest in January yields are kept very low.
Harvested manually, the wines are fermented naturally in large round cement vats (Piero calls them his 'Bentleys') with the minimum of intervention before being put into Burgundian oak barrels of which about twenty percent are new. Malolactic fermentation takes place naturally in barrel over the course of the following six months, and the wines are then left undisturbed on their lees before being bottled without any fining or filtration.
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