Chacra’s Experimental Pinot Noir

Today’s Story: Bodega Chacra

I was so thoroughly impressed with the 2018 Chacra Mainqué Chardonnay that I reviewed almost two weeks ago (Beautiful Union of Burgundy and Patagonia) that I decided to try another wine from them today.

To review, Bodega Chacra is a small winery established in the Río Negro region of Patagonia in 2004 by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta. Piero’s goal is to create transparent, honest wines that showcase his unique terroir through organic and biodynamic viticulture, so he eschews the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Instead, Piero uses vegetable and mineral preparations in his compost alongside a range of biodynamic practices ranging from the horn manure preparation and horn silica preparation to the German chamomile preparation and oak bark preparation. Detailed explanations of each biodynamic preparation can be found here. Chacra’s vineyards produce low yields and fruit selection is incredibly rigorous come harvest, so only the best and healthiest grapes make the wine. Maceration and fermentation occur in small tanks with an emphasis on skin contact, and the wines age in extra fine grain French oak barrels. All of the Pinot Noir is bottled 100% natural and unfiltered.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Sin Azufre Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir; 12.5% ABV

The 2018 Sin Azufre Pinot Noir is opaque pale purple in color. Once this opens up, the nose showcases aromas of dusty red cherry, brambleberry, violet, leather, tilled rocky soil, slight barnyard, crushed rock, graphite, and a hint of oak. There was some olive on the nose but that blew off after an hour. On the palate, I get notes of dried tart cherry, dusty raspberry, brambly blueberry, rose petal, sweet tobacco, black tea leaf, dried earth with finely crushed rock minerality, green underbrush, and clove. This is light- to medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium (-) tannins, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $35. This is a difficult one for me on a value perspective. When it comes to the majority of today’s wine drinkers, this would not be a good value simply because I don’t think the average consumer would like it. When it comes to the explorers or those who want to liven up their palate and are familiar with “natural” wines, I think this is a great value. Pair this with rosemary and thyme chicken, roasted duck breast, or charcuterie with Brie or Gruyère cheese.

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