Wines in Uruguay
Trip Start Jan 06, 2008
28Trip End Mar 31, 2008
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Another discovery was a red varietal wine that I had never heard of - Tannat. It is the national grape of Uruguay. Again Wikipedia provided me with more information. It is apparently a French varietal from the Madiran region in the South of France but it is rarely used there by itself because of high acidity and tannin. The Uruguayan variety avoids those nasties and I have enjoyed two different brands already. The wine is very similar to Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec in terms of body and color, and even in taste. As my palate is not well developed those of you interested should try some yourself.
The two brands were Montes Toscanini 2006 from Las Piedras, Uruguay, which cost about $6, and Don Pascual Reserve 2006, Estableciemento Juanico, Familia Deicas ($7). The latter has a web site (www.juanico.com) and the wine is available in Chicago, or at least this wine is - Bodegones del Sur, Tannat. Don Pascual Tannat is available through the Liquor Control Board in Quebec, and something called Pueblo del Sol, a merlot/tannat blend is sold in Ontario. No mention of BC however
They have begun growing this grape in California so it may be that in future years we will see more of it. Joan is drinking another Argentinian sauvignon blanc (2006) from Finca El Portillo in Valle de Uco, Tunuyan, Mendoza ($6).
Some more: De Lucca, Vino de El Colorado, Tannat 2007, Reinaldo de Lucca, El Colorado, Canelones, Uruguay;
Prima Donna, Riberas del Santa Lucia, Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Antigua Bodega, Stagnaris, Santos Lugaris, Canelones;
Don Pascual Reserve, Sauvignon Gris, 2006, Establecimiento Juanico.
Purely in the interest of science I am now drinking a Don Pascual Reserve Marselan 2007. I have learned that this is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache first grown in France in the 1960s. It was planted in Uruguay at the end of the 20th century and first harvest was in 2002. The label says that it has elements of red fruits, eucalyptus, and mint. I will say that it has a pleasant aroma, is somewhat lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, and tastes very much in the Cabernet style. It is in sum a very nice drink.