Chile has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Reasons for this sudden expansion varies, but all are essential to understanding Chilean wine culture. The largest factor, and arguably most prominent, relates to the large amount of French families immigrating to Chile during the late 20th century. The French were able to share their fine tastes and experience with the native Chileans, expanding their knowledge of the wine world. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.
- Item #: i_380812Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 94To start, the wineries oldest vineyards were planted back in 1932 to original rootstock Pinot Noir. Bodega Chacra's contiguous vineyards are the oldest ungrafted, original rootstocks of Pinot Noir in the world. The Winery operates entirely under Organic and Biodynamic practices. What makes this unique vineyard so special is the combination of its arid climate, and dessert soil known as the Rio Negro in Argentina. The climate combined with the green practices allow the vineyard to be 100% free of pesticides, and be extremely healthy and vibrant.
The wineries founder, Piero Incisa della Rochetta is no joke either. His Grandfather started Tenuta San Guido on the Tuscan coast in the 1940's, and created Sassicaia. Sassicaia is the only wine in Italy to have its own appellation named after the wine itself. Piero cut his teeth working in the vineyards of Sassicaia, and hanging out with his nearby cousins the Antinori's. He later started up an Umbrian winery project named Salviano that focused on Sangiovese and Bordeaux varietals. After a few years, he got a little restless and drifted to Malibu to get his undergraduate degree at Pepperdine University, and then later on to NYU for his Masters. While at NYU, he started to miss the wine business, so he exiled himself to Burgundy with some friends to help make some great wines and enjoy his passion of Pinot Noir. While in burgundy, his group of friends had a blind tasting of Pinot Noirs. During this tasting, one friend brought something that was completely unknown, and amazing. The wine was from an old vine Pinot Noir vineyard in Argentina, which this person was helping make the wine as a favor. Some weeks later, Piero had to contact this person since it was all he could think about. He ventured out to Argentina, to see this area of old vine Pinot Noir, and happened to find a vineyard that was even older than the one he had tasted in Burgundy. This all took place in 2004, and the rest is history as he bought the winery in 2004, and later other contiguous old vine vineyards.
What makes the wines of Bodegas Chacra so amazing, is a combination of having some of the oldest vines of Pinot Noir in the world, a unique micro climate that allows for wines to be made as pure as possible using no chemicals in any part of the wine making process. (A small exception would be small amounts of sulfur on the bottles to sterilize them.) For the wine geeks that are in love with natural wines, this wine has less than 40ppm of sulfur which qualifies them to be a natural wine. These wines however, are nothing like the vast natural wines out in the marketplace. They are serious wines for any connoisseur as they have a sense of elegance and finesse.
The Barda is a Pinot Noir, which is like a great Burgundy, made by an amazing Italian winery owner, from Argentina's "Garden of Eden". The youngest vines of the Barda come from vineyards that are around 25 years old, in addition to pinot noir juice that comes from vineyards planted in 1955, and 1932. That's right, vines that are 85 years old are in the Barda. These older vineyards produce fewer quantities of fruit naturally, but have more developed and concentrated flavors. The vineyards are certified Organic and Biodynamic, which adds to the purity of flavor to this great Pinot Noir. The vineyards see no pesticides due to the natural barriers the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain ranges create.
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "A bright and dense red with vivid lemon character, blueberries and stone. A firm and silky tannin structure. Full-bodied, but remains agile and energetic. This is half the normal production due to a short crop. 65% cement and the rest aged in used oak."
- Item #: i_379316Bottle Size: 750mlFounded in 1892 by French wine pioneer and ancestor Emilio Bouchon, Casa Silva is now owned by Mario Silva and family - the fifth generation of winemakers. Many of the vines planted are over 90 years old, carried over from Bordeaux, pre-phylloxera, by the first generation. Previously selling their juice to larger, bulk wineries, Casa Silva began a bold, estate bottling program in 1997. Now, the Silva Family are viewed as leaders of the new generation of premium wine producers, and their wines have received international acclaim.
Winemaker's Note - Bright and intense ruby red. On the nose, aromas of black cherries and plums with hints of spices. On the palate, it is round and powerful with sweet soft tannins and balanced acidity. Long finish. Great pairing with a steak and chimichurri sauce, Mexican fajitas, grilled chicken, roasted portobello mushrooms, or a spicy ratatouille.