Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bodega Chacra 2013 Barda Pinot Noir, Patagonia

What is top of mind when you hear “Patagonia?” Chances are, it isn’t Pinot Noir. This wine from Argentina may change your mind.

Wine From Land’s End

Bardo comes from Patagonia, a sparsely populated region at the southernmost tip of South America. The area is shared by Argentina and Chile.

There is dizzying diversity of terrain in Patagonia’s Rio Negro wine region, ranging from the Andes Mountains to the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is dry, windy with a tremendous swing in temperatures.

The soil is thick and stony, which is actually good for grape growing. But growing Pinot Noir anywhere can be a challenge for a winemaker.

Winemaking Magic

Pinot Noir is world’s apart from deep bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or even Argentina’s famous Malbec. The flavors are subtle and the color is lighter. As a result, the winemaker must work that much harder to extract the color and flavors that result in great Pinot.

Great care is taken with Barda from the vineyard all the way to the barrel. Barda is 100% organic and biodynamically grown. No mechanization is used in any stage of harvesting or winemaking.

Barda is made from fruit from a 20-year-old vineyard, and also uses grapes from the Treinta y Dos and Cincuenta y Cinco vineyards. The wine was fermented in cement tanks and the winemaker used a pump-over technique, circulating the skins and solids from the tank to the top once or twice a day to maximize the extraction of color fruit and tannins. Half the wine was aged in cement tanks and the remainder in French oak for 12 months.

The result is a pleasing wine with a somewhat different profile than an Oregon Pinot. There are dusty flavors of red berries with plum and spice. Malolactic fermentation adds a pleasing full texture.

This is an enjoyable wine and is recommended for adventurous Pinot Noir lovers who want to sample the grape from a variety of regions. It has a $30 SRP and will pair nicely with roast beef, salmon, swordfish or pasta.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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