2022 Bodega Chacra Mainque Chardonnay
Bodega Chacra was formed in 2004 by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, the grandson of Sassicaia’s founder, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta. Piero 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, while a conversation between friends has turned into a partnership with esteemed Burgundian Chardonnay producer Jean-Marc Roulot joining Piero in Patagonia in planting, farming, and vinification of Chardonnay at Chacra.
Located in the Rio Negro Valley in northern Patagonia, Argentina, Bodega Chacra is comprised of 24 hectares of vineyards planted mainly to Pinot Noir, along with a small amount of Chardonnay. Piero also values responsible farming as demonstrated by his grandfather at Sassicaia, and each of the vineyards are tended using organic and biodynamic principles. After hand harvesting, the fruit is handled the gentlest way possible, with movements transferred by gravity, fermentation occurring in concrete, minimal new oak usage, and no fining or filtration at bottling. Piero's aim is to retain greater purity and transparency, and it's this ability for his wines to so clearly express their origin that's so engaging with Chacra wines. It's also one of the key attributes that only the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay across the globe are able to achieve.
Mainque is a collaboration between Bodega Chacra and famed Burgundy producer Jean-Marc Roulot. Mainque Chardonnay comes from 3 parcels of land with a range of sand, clay, and pebble soils that are all biodynamically farmed. The wine is aged in old barrels from Roulot's domaine in Meursault.
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.
Quiet, flinty, a little sea spray and white flower perfume. Bright, tight, a fine chalky texture, ripe lemon/lime and white peach, a little honeycomb, wax and cashew, but still tense and kind of electric. Length is excellent. Great drinking and a beautiful refined expression of Chardonnay. Touch and go for 96 points really. Drink 2023 - 2030+.
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front