2013 Bodega Chacra

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin Argentina, Patagonia
District Rio Negro
ABV 13%

Made from a single vineyard of vines planted on their own rootstocks back in 1932. Tiny bunches of small, concentrated berries produce a superb expression of Pinot Noir: with nothing added, nothing taken away, just the vineyard. Drinking range: 2017 - 2028 Rating: 94 Steven Spurrier (Oct 2017)

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Limpid, bright ruby-colored and showing a very subtle nose, this elegant and young wine is starting to show signs of complexity. There are nuances (wild herbs, fennel) that I didn't see in other vintages. There is tension and a fine thread of acidity, filigree, poise and great length. It has gobsmacking balance and great length. While it looks light, there is tremendous inner power, in the way of a powerful ballet dancer rather than a bodybuilder. Complete and long, this should age superbly in bottle, but it's hard to resist now. World-Class Pinot Noir from Patagonia. Super! 5,855 bottles produced. Drinking range: 2015 - 2028 Rating: 96-96 Luis Gutierrez, 2015)

Complex aromas of rose blossom, cherry blossom, and more flowers. Bright strawberry and cherry fruit too. Full-bodied, very structured and powerful with layers of ripe fruit, yet balanced and fresh. Firm and formed with muscle. Made from 83-year-old vines that are biodynamically grown. Aged two years in 30% new oak. Try in 2019. Drinking range: 2019 - Rating: 94-94 James Suckling, 2015)

(aged for 14 months in French oak): Bright medium red. Pungent aromas of cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry, minerals and sandalwood, plus a hint of peppery spices. Silky and quite dry, showing lovely inner-mouth clarity and lift but only moderate flesh and sweetness. The adamantly dry finish hints at fresh herbs and spices. I never would have guessed that this Pinot was carrying 14% alcohol. Needs time to unwind but will it eventually blossom in the bottle? With 24 hours in the recorked bottle, this wine showed intriguing aromas of mint and quinine and a distinctly silkier texture, with a sweet, savory raspberry flavor emerging. The wine performed admirably in a flight of 2012 red Burgundies I happened to be tasting and I raised my score accordingly. Drinking range: 2018 - 2026 Rating: 92+ Stephen Tanzer, 2015)

Bodega Chacra

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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