In 2004, Piero Incisa della Rocchetta purchased the first of Bodega Chacra's vineyards, a property with an existing, though abandoned, vineyard planted in 1932.
This singular vineyard of gnarled Pinot Noir vines, planted on their own rootstocks, is head trained and produces tiny bunches of small, concentrated berries. The vineyard's pale, dry, porous soils are dominated by gravel and coarse alluvial pebbles with significant limestone content. Irrigation is carried out at most five times during the vine cycle, with a single copper sulfate treatment.
A green harvest in January reduces the already small yield, so that at harvest each vine produces at most five small clusters of grapes collectively weighing roughly a pound. The fruit is collected by hand into small boxes in the early morning hours during the first week of March.
The process of harvesting with these small boxes, each of which holds only eight kilos of grapes, is more tedious than using large containers, but it prevents the fruit on the bottom from being bruised. The grapes are refrigerated on the way to the winery to preserve the freshness of their fruit, and then hand-destemmed, sorted and placed in 200-liter lined cement vats for fermentation.
Piero has now added two new wines to the Chacra portfolio; Mainqué Chardonnay and Chacra Chardonnay, both made by star Burgundy winemaker Jean-Marc Roulot. These wines are fast becoming some of the most sought-after whites in Argentina, and with good reason; they both show a purity and balance level that is rarely seen in South American white wines. They both have incredible salinity, bright fruit and excellent structure.
Done in collaboration with Jean-Marc Roulot, this vintage of Mainqué Chardonnay was picked early as the grapes ripened early but maintained acidity. Fermented in barrel without malolactic, spending 11 months...