Piero Incisa della Rochetta’s family make wine in Bolgheri, the top wine is called Sassicaia which literally put Bolgheri on the wine map. During his travels as ambassador for the company Piero tasted some Pinot that impressed him so much he tracked down the vineyard and eventually bought it. The Rio Negro Valley of Northern Patagonia is home to Bodega Chacra – the pinnacle of Pinot Noir in Argentina and pretty close to rivalling some of the best in the world. The grapes and wines are made as naturally as possible from vineyards whose first plantings were in 1932.
Treinta Y Dos or 32 is referring to the fact these vines were planted in 1932. They were in a bad way but rehabilitated and now make arguably the best Pinot Noir in South America. Biodymanic farming is used as is natural yeasts and 100% new oak. 2010 is the coolest year on record at Charca. This vintage offers more red, blue and black fruits, spicy, gamey with strong minerals an elegant and finessed palate with plenty of perfume. This is the one to cellar for the long haul.
Patagonia – Further south than our beloved Tasmania, this is the coolest of the cool regions in Argentina. There is a lot of scope for cool climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and that means sparkling wine is a natural for this part of town. That being said, full bodied Malbec of outstanding quality is still a viable product down here too.
Pinot Noir – This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.