2013Barda2013 Bodegas Charca “Barda” Pinot Noir, Patagonia, Argentina.
The Charca estate, owned by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta of the Sassicaia family, was founded in the remote desert of Southern Argentina in Patagonia, it was discovered by the Italian by chance and is formed around an gnarly head trained old vine Pinot Noir vineyard, and is one of the great new legends in the wine world. I’ve tried the Estate Charca Pinot and it is the real deal, but this was the first time for me to taste the second wine of the Bodega the Barda “The Ridge” which is from lots of juice that didn’t make the single vineyard wines and the young vines that were planted less than 10 years ago, the old vines at Charca were planted in 1932 and look more like old California heritage vines than Pinot! The 2013 Barda by Bodegas Charca is a lovely and fresh wine, de-stemmed, but with whole berry fermentation in cement vats, almost carbonic, and aged in mostly neutral French oak, it is unfined and unfiltered and there is very little sulfur used. The wine starts with a delicate ruby hue, soft floral notes and a mix of red fruits and spices lead to the palate which shows raspberry, tart cherry and strawberry along with red plum, cinnamon, sweet herbs, tea spice and a hint of cranberry, earth and salty stones. This is classy and interesting stuff, it opens to a smooth and silky texture, but has a bight vibrant character throughout, it is hard to place it’s terroir in comparison to the great Pinot Noir regions, but it does share some qualities with maybe Chambolle or Morey-St.-Denis, though more red fruited and the gravel, galets and limestone soils in Patagonia add their complexities similar to maybe the Pfalz Spatburgunders of Germany, but regardless, this is very stylish Pinot Noir, rare and enchanting. The Barda by Bodegas Charca finishes with a crisp mouth watering austerity and a lingering blueberry note, there’s lot to admire here, drink from 2015 to 2020, and be sure to check out the Charca Estate and the single vineyard wines for something even more intriguing!
($37 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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