Pale-medium red, a bit clearer than the 2015. Aromas of blueberry, smoked meat and leather, with hints of spices and woodsmoke. Distinctly sweeter and fruitier than the 2015, with less apparent stem influence, but showing more rustic leather and oak notes throughout, with a slight peppery greenness lurking. Doesn't have quite the finesse of texture of the 2015 but finishes a bit sweeter, with more fruit to buffer the dusty tannins. Drinking range: 2016 - 2018 Rating: 88-88 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com (Mar 2016)
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In 2004, Italy's Piero Incisa della Rocchetta purchased the first vineyards for Bodega Chacra, which lies in the valley of the Río Negro river of Patagonia, midway between the Andes and the Atlantic. This Pinot Noir, aged 12 months in French oak, delivers pure, minerally and powerful red fruit flavors. Rating: 91 The Wine Spectator, www.winespectator.com (Feb 2016)
The just-bottled 2014 Barda could be the longest-lived of the four vintages I tasted. It looked like a very good vintage early on, with a few warm nights before the harvest. The grapes were picked quite early and vinification was softer than normal. They use the new barrels for Barda as they stopped using new oak for the Treinta y Dos, so there is a very slight note of wood, spices and smoke only noticeable when compared with the older vintages, but almost imperceptible out of that context. The palate is medium-bodied, with very primary flavors, fine-grained tannins that should get polish with a little bit of time in bottle. A very complete Pinot from Río Negro. 89,000 bottles produced. Drinking range: 2016 - 2023 Rating: 91-91 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com (Aug 2015)
A well-structured pinot noir with a solid core of fruit, firm tannins and bright acidity. Lots of iodine, blueberry, strawberry and floral character. Better in 2016 but delicious already. Rating: 92-92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (May 2015)
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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