Winemaker Piero Incisa della Rocchetta has a long history in winemaking. Piero's grandfather, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, established Tenuta San Guido, a producer of Super Tuscans in DOC Bolgheri, who also created Sassicaia, a Bordeaux-style blend, that now has its own DOC (Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC).
Bodega Chacra is located in the Río Negro Valley of northern Patagonia in Argentina. In 2004, Piero Incisa purchased the first of Bodega Chacra's vineyards, a property with an existing, though abandoned, vineyard planted in 1932 (Treinta y Dos). Since then, he has purchased two other vineyard sites, one with vines planted in 1955 (Cinquenta y Cinco) and another with vines planted in 1967 (Sesanta y Sete).
The first time I came across Bodega Chacra was when I had a 2013 Bodega Chacra Barda at dinner at The Modern when it was offered by the glass. It was a stunner. I didn't know until much later that Barda is made using a mix of grapes from new vines planted at the 1932 site and grapes not used from the single-vineyard wines. Since then, I've had a 2014 Barda at La Chine. Needless to say, I was looking forward to trying one of the single-vineyard wines.
The times I tried the Barda, I thought it had an Old World quality to it — a Pinot Noir in the Burgundian style — which contributed to my intrigue in wanting to try the single-vineyard wines, but the Cinquenta y Cinco is anything but a Burgundy-style Pinot.
On the nose, this 2009 Cinquenta y Cinco was intensely perfumed. At first, slightly restrained, it opened up within a couple of hours with concentrated cherry and a hint of earthiness. I detected warm spices — the kind that envelops and not that sears. On the palate, this was very fruit-forward, lush and full-bodied, with a long finish. This wine isn't very acidic, as is evident from the 3.70 pH from the technical sheet. At times the wine felt a little too fruity, almost coating your palate — a touch more acidity could have mitigated that. That said, this is an incredible New World Pinot that I will be delighted to find myself in the company of.
I can't seem to find any 2009 in stores, but here are some alternatives:
2014 Bodega Chacra Cinquenta y Cinco is available at Vintry Fine Wines in New York for $38
2010 Bodega Chacra Cinquenta y Cinco is available at Sotheby's New York for $64.95