Bodega Garzón is one of Uruguay’s best wineries, founded and funded by Argentian energy billionaire Alejandro Bulgheroni. The winery is located close to Punte del Este (the “Saint Tropez of South America”) and charming seaside towns on Uruguay’s Riviera, facing almost due south into the Atlantic. It’s now a destination itself with various tours and an upmarket restaurant headed by star chef Francis Mallman.
They have several ranges of wines within their portfolio:
- Late Harvest: Petit Manseng
- Sparkling: Extra Brut and Brut Rosé
- Estate: Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Pinot Noir Rosé, Tannat Blend, Cabernet Franc Blend, Sauvignon Blanc
- Reserva: Marselan, Albariño, Tannat, Cabernet Franc
- Single Vineyard: Tannat, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Pinot Noir
- Petit Clos: Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Albariño, Cabernet Franc
- Balasto: Flagship Red Blend
Uruguay’s signature grape is of course Tannat – originally from the other side of the Atlantic in south western France. Garzón does make excellent Tannat, but here we focus on another grape from the eastern Atlantic coast, Galicia’s Albariño.
Of course, Galicia doesn’t have sole ownership of Albariño – it’s also grown south of the Miño/Minho as Alvarinho and is also one of the varieties being trialled in Bordeaux. In these maritime climes the proximity of the vines to the coast has a marked effect on the style of the wine; littoral areas give more mineral and saline characteristics to the finished wine whereas inland sites lend a little more richness and fruit. How does Garzón’s Albariño compare?
Bodega Garzón Albariño Reserva 2018
I’ve been lucky enough to taste this wine several times over the past six months or so, but for some unknown reason each time I taste it I am pleasantly surprised at how good it is. Fermentation and maturation are in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to help preserve the bright fruit flavours, but the wine does also spend three to six months (depending on vintage) on its fine lees, adding texture, weight and a certain creaminess.
The nose shows pronounced white peach and citrus, more expressive than lesser Albariños for sure. On the palate the citrus shines through most, with a streak of fresh acidity and a saline tinge. It reminded me of a Rías Baixas wine from close to the coast, except with more depth of flavour – perhaps a touch more sunshine and the time on lees make the difference. Overall, this is a delicious wine that deserves the praise and recognition it has been receiving.
- ABV: 14.0%
- RRP: €21.95
- Stockists: Baggot Street Wines, Blackrock Cellar, McHugh’s, Martin’s Off-licence, Gibney’s of Malahide, The Vintry, Clontarf Wines, Brady’s Shankill, Deveney’s Dundrum, Higgins Clonskeagh, 1601 Kinsale, Morton’s Salthill, World Wide Wines Waterford, Alan McGuinness, Drink Store
Thanks to Liam and Peter from DNS Wine Club who have both shown this wine in recent months.