If you think pinot noir from South America is inevitably too rich, too extracted and too ripe, you really need to get yourself a bottle of this subtle, balanced gem from Bodega Chacra, founded by Piero Incisa, scion of the family who brought you a little Tuscan wine called… Sassicaia. Made from old vines found by Incisa in the cooler reaches of Patagonia (the youngest vineyard was planted in 1978, the others in 1955 and 1932), it is clear, with a bright garnet color, and a set of aromas that probably wouldn’t be out of place in the Côte de Beaune. Drawing a comparison is unfair, however, as there is a very specific personality to Barda, the entry-level cuvée from this special venture. With dried cherry and tea-leaf aromas, wild and earthy undertones on the nose, a bright and fresh feeling on the tongue, an overall impression of ripeness rounded out by maybe a bit of oak, this is a really fine pinot noir at a very reasonable price. A warning: it will likely make you want to buy the estate’s single-vineyard bottlings, whose prices hover closer to 100 dollars a bottle. Highly recommended. RC
Retail distribution is spotty, and their wines are best obtained through the website or by joining their wine club. Highly Recommended. GT
Plush and smooth on the finish which lingers for a while. An excellent pairing with braised duck or a pizza with a tomato-fennel sauce. Highly recommended. RR
The premise is simple: there are hundreds of wine varieties out there beyond the "big six" – also known as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling – yet most people never travel beyond a relatively narrow range.
Burgundy may be “fiendishly complex, frustratingly inconsistent and maddeningly difficult,” as Allen Meadows of Burghound puts it, but that doesn’t stop it from gaining new fans who are eager to deal with those “difficulties.”
HOT on January 1 WHO: Thomas Bassot WHAT: Pinot Noir WHERE: France, Burgundy, Cotes de Nuits, Griotes-Chambertin WHEN: 1964 SIZE: 750 ml RESERVE: $250 MINIMUM BID INCREMENT: $25 Decanter rates 196...