Founded in 2004 and is devoted to crafting arguably the finest Pinot Noirs in the entire southern hemisphere, Bodega Chacra is a rare non-Italian, non-Burgundy producer that IWM has championed essentially since its inception. Part of what makes Bodega Chacra so special (and what ties it to the world of Italian wine) is its owner and winemaker, Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, grandson of Mario Incisa, who created the legendary Sassicaia. Piero fell in love with the windswept landscape of Patagonia and set out to craft pure, Burgundian expressions of Pinot Noir in Argentina, just as his grandfather had done with Bordeaux varietals in Tuscany’s Bolgheri zone 50 years prior.
The second most important thing that makes Bodega Chacra special are the estate’s old-vine vineyards, planted in 1932 and 1955, which yield delightfully complex fruit that’s blessed with perfect acidity. Piero’s wines are sleek and nimble, with just the right amount of power and structure to hold everything together, and they’re thoroughly enjoyable both young and mature. New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov just wrote an article on Bodega Chacra, which is definitely worth checking out if you want to learn more about the estate.
Barda, the Bodega Chacra’s entry-level Pinot Noir, was outstanding in 2014. A blend of old-vine fruit from the estates flagship vineyards planted in 1955 and 1932 along with additional fruit from younger vines, Barda is a killer value that offers great complexity and depth of flavor for its humble price. Light to medium-bodied on the palate and replete with soft tannins, it shows beautiful characteristics of ripe red fruit, minerals, and floral notes, ending with a bright, mouth-watering finish.
Sourced from vines planted in 1932 (hence its name), Chacra’s Treinta y Dos is the estate’s most important, long-aging wine. Often tightly wound in its youth, after a few years of aging in bottle, the “32” blossoms with a gorgeous, heady bouquet of red and blue berries, spice and earth, all held together by balanced, refined tannins. Relatively low in alcohol (just 12%), this wine will appeal to wine-lovers who enjoy classic red Burgundies as well as to aficionados of riper New World Pinot Noirs, and it is capable of fifteen or more years of maturity in your cellar.