2017 Pinot Noir Bodega Chacra
Piero's latest release is this fabulous 'Natural' Pinot Noir. This is from fruit grown bio-dynamically, as are all the vines at Bodegas Chacra - but the difference with the 'Sin Azufre' (literally 'Without Sulphur') is that it never comes in to contact with Sulphur, even during the wine-making process or bottling. Unadulterated, pure Pinot fruit from this amazing estate in the heart of Patagonia. The fruit is unhindered and bountiful here with a great depth, balanced by a super, mineral-dusty undercurrent. Sophisticated, stylish and joyful Pinot Noir. As James Suckling says - 'One of the ultimate Natural Wines.' L&S (Jan 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 Sin Azufre shows superbly, with precision and freshness, full of character. It was produced with grapes from vines that were planted in 1980 and worked biodynamically, from an almost perfect vintage, and it is racy, floral and with a lot of tension. It fermented in round, wide, shallow 3,800-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts with full clusters and no extraction, in an infusion way. Twenty percent of the volume spent six months in used barriques, while the rest was kept in concrete. Floral, ethereal and aromatic, it has clean, focused aromas and flavors, great elegance and lots of energy. Simply irresistible! So, it's a lot of work, but it can be done. Drinking range: 2018 - 2021 Rating: 93-93 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com(Jun 2018)
The aromas of blue fruits, lavender and Earl Grey are impressive with crushed stone, too. Full body, yet so tight and focused with lemon rind and hot stone. Gorgeous freshness, brightness and integrity. One of the ultimate natural wines. Drink or hold. Love. Rating: 97 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.
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