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 their exceptionally balanced Pinot Noirs that combine the best traits of the New World with levels of depth and concentration usually associated with the great wines of Burgundy.
Few might expect world-class Pinot Noir to come from the arid Argentine desert of Patagonia, let alone from own-rooted vines planted in 1932 and 1955 – 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 Pinot Noir in Argentina. His vineyard management and winemaking skill come with an unquestionable pedigree resulting in Bodega Chacra being described by James Suckling as one of the great “eye-openers” 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. According to Suckling, the collaboration has given Chacra’s wines, “a new soulful energy. They are not only more transparent to the unique soils and microclimates of the vineyard but they have an emotional sensibility that you only find in the great wines of the world.”
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.
Today we are pleased to offer the 2021 Cincuenta y Cinco Pinot Noir from Bodega Chacra, a wine aptly named for the year, 1955, in which the vineyard was planted.
Scoring a fantastic 98 points from James Suckling, the 2021 Cincuenta y Cincoand serves as a testament to the quality of wines being produced on two continents by the Sassicaia family. This wine continues to be somewhat of a steal in today’s market at just £180 per case of 6.
Suckling suggests a drinking window of 2024 onwards with these wines due in later this year.
Bodega Chacra Pinot Noir Cincuenta y Cinco 2021 (6x75cl)
£180 per case 6 IB
98 Points | James Suckling
Perfumed and floral aromas of rose petals, rose hips, wild strawberries, raspberries, sliced mushrooms and orange zest. Bright and succulent with a medium body and very fine, firm tannins. Delightful citrus and crunchy red-fruit character with pretty rose-petal notes throughout. Drink from 2024. From biodynamically grown grapes.
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