Roulot in Argentina: 2017 Chacra Mainque Chardonnay

Posted by Ian McFadden

Argentina, the land of Malbec, is the last place that you'd expect to find Roulot's first project outside of Burgundy.

Scratch a bit deeper and it becomes much less of a surprise.

The little-known Río Negro region in Patagonia has a rich history of producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The area's cool nights are perfectly suited for turning out shimmering and finessed examples of the grapes.

Mainque is a collaboration between Bodegas Chacra and Jean-Marc Roulot. Bodegas Chacra is producing some of the most intriguing and eye-opening wines that we know of. We've worked with Bodegas Chacra for over a decade and it has been thrilling to watch them develop into a world-class estate and a lot of fun to introduce people to the wines. They turn preconceived notions on their heads.

The 2017 Mainque Chardonnay pushes the envelope even further.


The famed Burgundy producer Jean-Marc Roulot makes some of the greatest Chardonnay on the planet. It's not surprising that the 2017 Mainque has all of Roulot's signatures - astonishing finesse, tension, and minerality. It has become a Crush favorite. At a recent staff tasting, nearly everyone thought it was the best of the lineup.

Mainque Chardonnay comes from 3 parcels of land with a range of sand, clay, and pebble soils that are all biodynamically farmed. The wine is aged in old barrels from Roulot's domaine in Meursault. The results are striking: a core of bright acidity is surrounded by sunny citrus fruits, white flowers, and a flinty minerality. There’s a focused precision to the wine that recalls Roulot’s masterful touch, coupled with a long, driving finish.

Bodega Chacra was founded in 2004 by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, the grandson of Sassicaia’s founder, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta. Back in the early 2000s, Piero first discovered the wines of Río Negro at a tasting in NYC and became obsessed: “I woke up and went to sleep thinking about this wine,” he explained. Piero soon visited the region in person and found an old vineyard planted in 1932 on original rootstocks - he knew immediately it was the opportunity he had been looking for.

It's rare that I taste something and it opens up a new horizon of what's possible for me. The Mainque Chardonnay did just that. Before tasting it, I wouldn't have thought that any place outside of Europe could render Chardonnay with so much freshness, purity of fruit, and salinity. I have to tip my hat to Jean-Marc Roulot and Piero Incisa for not only producing such a riveting wine, but also for a wine born out of such a unique corner of the wine world.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden


Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

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