2020 Bodega Chacra Chardonnay
Bodega Chacra was founded in 2004 by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, the grandson of Sassicaia’s founder, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta. Pierro always wanted to do his own thing independent of family ties, and in 2004 he heard about an abandoned Pinot vineyard in Patagonia that was originally planted in 1932 and knew immediately it was the opportunity he had been looking for. And so began what is now Bodega Chacra, generally recognised as the greatest Pinot Noir produced in South America.
Over time another vineyard from 1955 was added along with more plantings. Vineyards are tended using organic and biodynamic principles. The old vines are planted on their own rootstocks, producing tiny bunches with incredibly concentrated flavours. Fruit is hand harvested, fermented in concrete, transferred by gravity and treated in the gentlest way possible without fining or filtration in order to produce wines with transparency.
Done in collaboration between Bodega Chachra and famed Burgundy producer Jean-Marc Roulot, Chacra Chardonnay is produced from 40 year old vines in mineral soils with alluvial stones covered in calcaire. The wine is aged in old barrels from Roulot's domaine in Meursault.
There’s real direction and clarity to this white with sliced dried apples, crushed stones and minerals on the nose, as well as hints of biscuit and praline. Some honeysuckle and lemon-grass undertones, too. It’s full-bodied, yet very tight and lively with a line of fresh acidity running through the palate, providing energy and depth. From the owner of Chacra and Burgundy’s Jean-Marc Roulot. Drinkable now, but much better in three to four years. Try after 2023.
“Made with Jean-Marc Roulot, from 40 year old vines in mineral soils with alluvial stones covered in calcaire. 9 month in 1st use French oak barrels for 15% and 2nd and 3rd use French oak barrels for 85%”
From the cold climes of Patagonia, and given I’ve not reviewed much Chardonnay for a while, I was feeling sorry for our own JH. Chacra is the word for a small farm, as opposed to your Chakra, which sometimes, apparently, needs alignment as they are a little vague and wobbly.
Cool feel here, with mint and fennel, a little nougat gloss, and some cinnamon spice and struck match, green pear and citrus. There’s a sort of preserved lemon bitterness in with fine chalky grip, a honey and white flower perfume, and a tight yet creamy finish of excellent length. Delicate, but firm in character. Drink 2022 - 2028+.
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front