2017 Bodega Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro

SKU #1358915 97 points James Suckling

 The aromas of blue fruits, lavender and Earl Grey are impressive. Crushed stones, too. Full-bodied, yet so tight and focused with lemon rind and hot stones. Gorgeous freshness, brightness and integrity. One of the ultimate natural wines. Drink or hold. Love.  (4/2018)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2017 Sin Azufre shows superbly, with precision and freshness, full of character. It was produced with grapes from vines that were planted in 1980 and worked biodynamically, from an almost perfect vintage, and it is racy, floral and with a lot of tension. It fermented in round, wide, shallow 3,800-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts with full clusters and no extraction, in an infusion way. Twenty percent of the volume spent six months in used barriques, while the rest was kept in concrete. Floral, ethereal and aromatic, it has clean, focused aromas and flavors, great elegance and lots of energy. Simply irresistible! So, it's a lot of work, but it can be done. (LG)  (6/2018)

K&L Notes

Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, the grandson of Sassicaia founder Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, ended up in Patagonia after tasting a bottle of Pinot Noir he fell in love with, and was told came from old vines in Patagonia. This wine comes from 60 year-old, head pruned vines in the Rio Negro Valley of Patagonia. As the name suggests (albeit in Spanish), there is no added sulphur in this wine—a rare thing that is enabled by the extremely high quality of the grapes and the attention to detail in the winemaking at this address. *Natural Wine*


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Price: $34.99

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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/29/2018 | Send Email
This has been one of my favorite bottlings of Pinot in the store for the last several years. There is always something very captivating about this wine. The wine tickles my palate, the method of production a vineyard work tickle my brain. Let's get to the later first. It is old vine Pinot, from the same vineyard as the Cincuenta y Cinco bottling from the producer. It is harvested a few days earlier than the traditional bottling and makes it without sulfur "sin azufre". Piero Incisa della Rocchetta meticulous winemaking crafts a "natural" wine that is clean and precise while simultaneously being earthy and savory. For me it is like drinking an untranslated version of Patagonian Pinot. You didn't know you wanted one until you try this. The nose is broad, with equal parts fruit and savory notes. Mixed fruit and berries with an earthy/mineral thing that is equal parts Sancerre blanc and Graves rouge that has been sitting in the sun all afternoon. I know, run with it, there is a little magical realism with this one. On the palate it is that same mix of fruits and berries with a dash fruit skin bite and more of that earthy savoriness. The wine glides across the palate then start to take on more weight, the tannins that you thought that were not there, slowly reveal themselves and the best part is the finish. It goes and goes but it starts and stays on the tip of your tongue. That sun-soaked earthy, mineral, Patagonian stoniness does something that I have never experienced from any Burgundy. Even more fun is to have this wine with the Cincuenta y Cinco, what a difference and few days and sulfur makes. It is beautiful but totally different. That is the kind of experience that will reinvigorate your love for the mysteries of wine, or at least it does for me.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/24/2018 | Send Email
What an original take on the grape that perhaps more than any other, is so coveted, and whose wines are more passionately debated than any other. I do not anticipate this wine will be any different: a lighter styled Pinot Noir, with 13% abv stated on the label (though I suspect it is a bit less), without added sulphites (as the name clearly states in Spanish). And it's from Patagonia! Anyhow, I love the wine. It smells of fresh fruit, with a European sensibility; we could in fact be in the Loire, perhaps, given the aromatic profile. On the palate, there are wild mixed berries, plums, and less florals than I recall in the 2016 vintage we offered last year. Still, it is a wonderfully original, successfully made wine in the "natural wine" style. If you like more subtle Pinot Noir and/or French wines, simply give this wine a try. For two years running, it's one of the most surprising, delicious wines I have tasted here.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

Argentina

- Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world, and possibly the most important wine-producing region in South America. Only four countries in the world produce more wine than Argentina. Considerable investments (much of which has come from famous French, Italian and California wine producers) have been made in new vineyards and winemaking technology in the past several years, which along with recent plantings of more premium varieties of grapes, has made Argentina much more competitive internationally. The Mendoza region is the most important region in Argentina's wine industry. And Malbec, among other Bordeaux varietals grown here, reigns supreme.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.3
Organic: