Italy’s most iconic, and collectible red wine is Sassicaia from the San Guido winery in the Sassicaia DOC of the Bolgheri region of coastal Tuscany. The 2015 Sassicaia was Wine Spectator’s #1/Top 100 Wine of the Year just a couple of years ago. Known as the first real “SuperTuscan” when released in 1968 by the now legendary founder Marchese Mario Incisa delle Rocchetta, today the winery is still run by Mario’s son Nicolé.
Allow me to introduce you to Mario’s grandson, and Nicolé’s nephew PIERO INCISA DELLE ROCCHETTA. Piero spent his youth working at the family’s San Guido winery in Bolgheri, and then managing his mother’s wine estates Titignano and Salviano in Umbria. He is still a family spokesperson for San Guido and it’s legendary Sassicaia. However, after an eye-opening visit to work the harvest in 2003, Piero founded BODEGA CHACRA in 2004 in the cool clime Rio Negro region of Patagonia, Argentina! YES! The “family” is certainly very involved in the success of the Chacra wines!
Starting with the 2017 vintage, Bodega Chacra opened a new chapter in their winery’s history. Piero, in partnership with Jean-Marc Roulot of Domaine Roulot in Meursault, has been producing Chardonnays alongside their Pinot Noirs. More on how their friendship turned into a partnership here and here.
All of the farming of the Chardonnay parcels is in-line with Bodega Chacra’s farming program – that is organic and biodynamic, however the fruit is not yet certified. (Certification takes five vintages of adherence.)
The two Chardonnays are essentially two separate terroirs. Chacra Chardonnay comes from a single vineyard of 40 year old vines and Mainque is three parcels. In the cellar, every decision is Jean-Marc’s.
The soils of the Mainque Chardonnay parcels are a touch sandier than those in the Chacra with a combination of sand, clay, pebbles, and pebbles covered in calcareous matter. It is fermented in barrel with only 70% malolactic achieved, spending eleven months in mostly second and third use French oak barrels. (2019 N/R, 2018 WA 93, 2017 WA 92)