2016 Bodegas Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro

SKU #1309136 97 points James Suckling

 This is very dense and beautiful with flowers, dried lemons and strawberries. A bouquet of roses. Full to medium body, superfine tannins and a linear and focused finish. Precision in a no sulfur wine. Tight and layered. Only 3,000 bottles made. Drink now.  (6/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I'm usually reluctant when a wine is named after a process. There is a new label from Chacra, a non-sulfured wine called simply 2016 Sin Azufre (meaning "without sulfur" in Spanish), but the wine is not really about the process, it's rather about the place, grape and vintage. It's a light Pinot Noir with 12.6% alcohol and moderate acidity, fermented in concrete vats with full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in third use French oak barrels for six months. There are no off aromas, no deviations, nothing blurring the character of the wine, which feels clean, precise and focused. This wine is only handled by proprietor Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, who only uses his feet and hands to work it, trying to replicate a wine from when no technology is available. The grapes are sourced from the 1955 vineyard, but they were harvested five days before the grapes for the Cincuenta y Cinco were picked. The palate is very lively and vibrant, really tasty, with very pure flavors, some dry sensations from the stems and a clean finish. I wish all the non-sufhured wines were as clean and precise as this. So it can be done, but for sure it's a lot of work. Compared with the others, this has a much livelier, bright color. It is distinctly better than the previous year I tasted informally when I visited the winery in 2015. 4,000 bottles were filled in August 2016. (LG)  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

Bodega Chacra is a wine producer in the Rio Negro Valley of northern Patagonia, in Argentina. It was established in 2004 by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, whose grandfather was responsible for the iconic Italian wine Sassicaia.

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Price: $34.99

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Staff Image By: Chantel Carroll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/7/2017 | Send Email
I don't have a lot of experience drinking Pinot Noir from Argentina, but my goodness this wine really sets the bar high. I was delighted as I sorted through the endless layers of fruit and spice. It had ample acidity, fine balanced tannin, a beautiful bouquet of ripe alpine strawberries, slightly dried rose petals and hints of fresh violet. This wine is ready to drink now! I enjoyed it with a couple friends and a soft pungent cheese.

Staff Image By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/6/2017 | Send Email
Light to medium bodied, this Patagonian Pinot Noir is an exceedingly graceful package. Fresh, crunchy red berries with subtle blueberry, purple flowers, black pepper, and vein of savory salinity. This continues to open in the glass, revealing subtle baking spices and deeper, earthy complexities. From top to bottom this is incredibly earnest Pinot, striking that rare balance between simply pretty and deceptively complex.

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/28/2017 | Send Email
This is Pinot Noir! Light Pinot Noir, 12.6 ABV. This perfectly captures that paradoxical element that, for me great Pinot's have, a delicate light tactile impression with bold intense flavors that linger and linger. Dusty Morello cherries, woodsy(not oaky) eathy spice, whispers of savory spice and all of that on a clean precise with with mouth watering acidity and finish that goes on and on. Oh, and it is made without sulpher if that is important to you....

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/26/2017 | Send Email
As I tried this wine Joe told me that the name meant that it was without sulfites. That is cool but I was worried that if that was the big selling point for them the wine may not really speak for itself. Thankfully I was completely wrong, instead I was delighted to try a Pinot that hits a beautiful spot for me. On a lighter an more delicate side of Pinot, which is where I love this grape to be, this wine was not at all weak or watery. Rather it shows red berry, floral, a little spice note opting for balance over brawn. This is precisely the kind of wine that I love, long, elegant, and perfectly in my particular price range.

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/26/2017 | Send Email
This is, hands down, not only one of the most beautiful, delicate, and effortlessly delicious Pinot Noirs I have tasted in a while, it is simply one of the best deals in PN I think we'll see all year. Produced in tiny quantities in Argentinian Patagonia, this bottling is basically a selection from the winery's (also very good) $50 bottling. For some inexplicable reason, this smaller and more particular production is $15 less than the other bottling. For under $35, you get a Pinot Noir with so much finesse: pretty red fruits, delicate rose petal qualities, low ABV, and a quiet complexity that does not detract from how delicious and immediately approachable it is. Once again I think this is amongst our best Pinot Noir offerings year to date; it's super limited and bound to not last long so I would act fast on this one.

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. Click for a list of bestselling items from Argentina.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.3