The southernmost vineyard in the world used to be in Central Otago, New Zealand but the Sleeping Giant vineyard in Argentina is re-writing the record books. Located at a latitude of 45.33° S it is the southernmost commercial vineyard in the world! After eight years of planting and understanding the terroir, Bodega Otronia has launched its debut 2017 vintage.
Otronia Block III & VI Chardonnay is an experimental project in Patagonia's Chubut, "South America's New Frontier" (Decanter). With climate change pushing them into the cooler territory, Alejandro Bulgheroni is part of an intrepid group of South American winemakers overcoming extreme conditions to produce fresh and delicate wines at the continent’s southernmost point.
Otronia has divided the vineyards into blocks to ensure they get the best out of the varying micro-terroirs. The Block 3 & 6 Chardonnay is fermented egg-shaped concrete tanks and aged in large untoasted French Oak casks. The extreme conditions put stress on the vines creating wines of "striking acidity, purity and freshness" (James Suckling) but only meager yields in the best of vintages. The production is so low that less than 200 cases were made in 2017.
98 POINTS - Descorchados
"Notes of white fruits such as peach and pear, combined with a floral tone. You can perceive hints of herbs, chamomile tea, thyme, reminiscent of the natural environment where the grapes that give rise to this complex come from."
95 POINTS - Decanter
"Well-defined, pure and intense aromas of peach, nectarine, guava, crème brûlée, lemongrass, and sweet spices jump out of the glass. On the palate, it displays the excellent concentration of fruit, a wonderful creamy texture, integrated oak, mouthwatering freshness, and a long finish."
94 POINTS - James Suckling
"Intense aromas of grilled mango, papaya, grapefruit and flint. It’s full-bodied and concentrated, yet balanced by sharp, tangy acidity and a salty undertone. Textured and mineral with a long, focused and phenolic finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold."
93 POINTS - Vinous
"The 2018 Chardonnay Block III & VI comes from Sarmiento, Chubut, and spent 20 months aging in casks. Golden yellow in hue. The nose delivers ginger, green apple, herbs, lemon zest, woody notes and tea. Tense in the mouth with firm but packaged acidity. The yeast, wood and solid, lengthy flow sculpt a ripe, lively profile. A rich wine of a kind rarely found in Argentina."-- Joaquín Hidalgo