Inkarri by Chakana Estate Bonarda 2017
Ideal with pasta, pizza and most Italian cuisine.
Chakana is based in the heart of Mendoza, Argentina. Chakana embodies the quest for a wine identity that is both original and authentic. Their estate-grown wines are produced exclusively from organic and Biodynamic vineyards located in the best terroirs of Mendoza. The resulting varietal wines are the purest expression of the region’s outstanding calcareous soils. Organic and Biodynamic agriculture guarantee a viticulture with no inputs, where vines authentically express the character of place.
Inkarri wines are produced from the organic and Biodynamic vineyards in the small village of Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo, “the home of Malbec.” Agrelo’s terroir is considered to be some of the best in Mendoza for the production of complex red wines made from Malbec. Based in the western foothills of the Andes mountains, the wine-producing zone of Agrelo slopes upward from the town, with slopes reaching more than 3,000 Feet (1000m) above sea level. The region has a dry, desert-like climate, situated in the rain shadow of the Andes. Warm, sunny days are followed by much cooler nights due to cold winds that flow from the snow-capped Andes. This desirable diurnal shift of temperatures extends the ripening period and produces wines with balanced acidity and complex flavor profiles.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
As far as vineyard area in Argentina, Bonarda comes in second to Malbec. However, DNA profiling shows that what the Argentine people have named as Bonarda, is actually identical to California’s Charbono—and Charbono is actually a grape called Douce Noire from Savoie, a mountainous wine region in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes of eastern France. The Argentine wine called Bonarda is typically linear, somewhat complex and loaded with black fruit. California Charbono is beautifully concentrated in a deep magenta color and presents lively and juicy red fruit, spice and a pleasant grip in the finish.
In Italy, in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese and Emilia Romagna’s Colli Piacentini zones, the grape called Bonarda is not Bonarda at all but instead, Croatina. In Novara, Bonarda Novarese, used to ease the tannins of Spanna (Nebbiolo), is actually Uva Rara. The wines labeled as Bonarda from Oltrepò Pavese are spicy, medium to light bodied and full of both red and black fruit.
Bonarda Piemontese is an aromatic variety that covered 30% of the region before phylloxera. Today it grows sporadically in Piedmont, mainly near Govone. Bonarda Piemontese is actually Bonarda.