Established in 2004 with the purchase of a small parcel of ungrafted pre-phylloxera vines originally planted almost a century ago, Bodega Chacra quickly gained attention for skillfully combining the best traits of the New World with levels of depth and concentration usually associated with the best of the Old World.
Few might expect world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to come from the arid Argentine desert of Patagonia - but that is exactly what Piero Incisa della Rocchetta has accomplished with Bodega Chacra over the last twenty years.
Piero is the grandson of Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, famed founder of the iconic Sassicaia in Tuscany. Piero has taken much of the spirit and vision that birthed Sassicaia and created his own burgeoning winery that is redefining wine in Argentina. His vineyard management and winemaking skills come with an unquestionable pedigree resulting in Bodega Chacra being described by James Suckling as an “eye-opener” in Patagonia. The estate doesn’t rely on its family association alone, recently joining forces with Domaine Roulot's Jean-Marc Roulot, a superstar of the Meursault region.
Patagonia's climate and relatively isolated location also play significant roles in why its best wines are so distinctive. What little farming is possible in southern Argentina takes place using river water for irrigation along small strips of land in former flood plains, surrounded by desert scrub. The extreme climate provides ideal conditions for ripening grapes. Warm, sunny days and very low humidity mean there is very little disease pressure in the vineyards,
while cool nights help retain healthy levels of acidity in the fruit.
The winemaking at Chacra is decidedly traditional and "hands off", with fermentation taking place using native yeasts in predominantly large concrete tanks. Small amounts of new oak are used in the cellar, but the influence of these barrels is subtle and tucked beneath the concentrated fruit flavours in the finished wines.
From the excellent value ‘Mainque’ Chardonnay to the individually numbered ‘32’ Pinot Noir, crafted from vines planted in 1932, and the Chacra Chardonnay - described by Suckling as "probably the finest answer to Puligny or Meursault in Argentina" - the new releases from Bodega Chacra see fantastic scores across the board.
These wines will be arriving into AMFW late summer 2023, so do let me know if you would like to order, and I can confirm subject to stocks remaining unsold.
2022 Bodega Chacra ‘Mainque’ Chardonnay (6x75cl)
97 Points | James Suckling
Such a flinty nose that delivers a full package of minerality. Quarry, chalk, gun powder and lime. The nose really speaks to you. Creamy and textured on the palate with bright but chiselled acidity and real tension. One of the best Mainque’s ever? Chacra’s answer to fine Chablis. Drink or hold. From biodynamically grown grapes.
2022 Bodega Chacra ’55 Pinot Noir (6x75cl)
96 points | James Suckling
Fresh and floral nose with tiles, vibrant red berries and pomegranate. Stony, mineral verve. Pure and expressive with good tension on the medium-bodied palate. Silky, very nimble and elegant. Acidic red berries in the finish that cleanse the palate. So much drinkability. Drink or hold. From biodynamically grown grapes.
2022 Bodega Chacra Chardonnay (6x75cl)
98 Points | James Suckling
This is probably the finest answer to Puligny or Meursault in Argentina and it will be hard to pass by. Beautiful brioche notes give a fine creaminess with mineral, fine reduction, beeswax and a hint of white sesame to the lemon curd. Extremely textured and tense on the palate with fresh, medium acidity and a long, long finish. This is all about texture and purity. Also intellectual. Drink or hold. From biodynamically grown grapes.
2021 Bodega Chacra ‘32’ Pinot Noir (6x75cl)
97 Points | James Suckling
Pomegranate, wild herbs and lots of fresh raspberries to the nose. Subtle, pure and tense with a fine austerity to the center-palate. Refined and medium-bodied on the palate. Nothing conspicuous here. Intense but slim and everything is well-hidden. Drink now or hold. From biodynamically grown grapes.