BARDA PINOT NOIR
2017 Bodega Chacra
Bright medium red. Subtly pungent scents of strawberry, raspberry, spices and herbs. Juicy red berries and herbs dominate on the adamantly dry, penetrating palate, with a note of rose petal adding lift. A distinctly peppery, herbal, red-fruit style of Pinot Noir with a fine dusting of tannins that will not get in the way of early enjoyment. Not at all thin or lacking in length. Drinking range: 2018 - 2024 Rating: 90-90 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com (Jul 2018)
*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 2017 Barda is approachable and soft, with sweet fruit, in a more commercial profile. It comes from different vineyards—the majority from one plot planted in 1989 and small portions of older vines. It's a little more concentrated than usual, as they had very low yields, so it has some tannins, even if they are very fine grained. It fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts, and one-fourth of the wine matured in French oak barrels for ten months while the rest was kept in concrete. Drinking range: 2018 - 2022 Rating: 92-92 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com(Jul 2018)
A bright and dense red with vivid lemon character, blueberries, stone, and a firm and silky tannin structure. Full body but remains agile and energetic. This is half the normal production due to a short crop. 65% cement and the rest aged in used oak. Rating: 94 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Mar 2018)
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.
You know, you can be too traditional. Ring the changes, ditch the claret, bin the Burgundy, say "non" to Europe. Since Columbus sailed the ocean blue back in 1492 there's been a New World, and that New World is keen to sell us wine. Fragrant New Zealand Sauvignon, gutsy Californian Zinfandel, elegant Argie Pinot Noir, surprisingly elegant Australian and some new and exciting Monterey Chardonnay await. Tuck in.
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