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: 750MLWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "A brambly array of bright, ripe dark fruit with a lithe and juicy feel that carries a bold, deliciously fresh array of dark-cherry and blueberry flavors long on the finish. Zingy and energetic. 10 to 15 per cent stems in fermentation. From biodynamically grown grapes."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2018 Barda saw 60% of the volume matured in concrete to keep the freshness and crunchiness of the Pinot Noir fruit in the wine, and the rest was in barrels for eight months. It's lighter than 2017, which was very concentrated given the extremely low yields, and the wine goes back to the balance of previous years (with normal yields); there's great harmony and purity here. The palate is fresh, the flavors are clean and pure and there is great length. There's great energy. It has to be one of the finest vintages of Barda. This is an incredible value, a great Pinot Noir from Río Negro at a very attractive price point".
To 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.
- Item #: i_383993Bottle Size: 750mlPinot Noir is such the perfect grape for November-- when it's "done right." And this bottling of Red Quartz Pinot, from Chile's Casablanca Valley D.O., is not only done right, it's also a heck of a bargain for the high quality of wine found within the bottle! We're always mindful of Thanksgiving this time of year, which is why we tend to focus on Pinot Noirs (almost the perfect wine for the cornucopia of flavors and textures enjoyed at the table for this special holiday). This is the one!
The nose is a lovely mixture of red fruits, cherries and berries, and dusty underbrush, incense and minerality. Complex! Inviting! The palate takes the red fruits and runs with it as tastes of raspberries, cherries, cranberries and pomegranate fill the glass and profile. Notes of cedar, forest floor and garrique add depth, and bright, forward acidity keeps the wine lively and uplifting-- and will help cut through some of the rich foods we envision enjoying with this one! The finish lingers with notes of cherry lambic, underbrush and ground clove. Beautiful wine!
Red Quartz is a small production Pinot Noir from the coastal mountain vineyards in Chile's Casablanca Valley, 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean with direct exposure to the cool marine climate. Winemaker Vicente Johnson spent many years in California (making wine and earning his MBA at Sonoma State) and their locale in Chile reminds him of the landscapes of Coastal Sonoma. The soils here are mainly granitic with high presence of Quartz under a layer of sand and red clay, tainting the quartz in a red/orange color. Red Quartz Pinot Noir is a unique wine coming from this special location and perfect for the month of November (and beyond)!