SAUVIGNON BLANC from Uruguay? The small country tucked between Brazil and Argentina is home to an emerging wine region raising interest around the world. Karen MacNeil’s newly revised “Wine Bible” notes this is not only an up and coming area for dry reds made from tannat, a grape that hails from southwest France, but also for cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and petit manseng. She writes that renowned wine consultants American Paul Hobbs, Italy’s Alberto Antonini and France’s Michel Rolland have discovered Uruguay. Antonini is advising the impressive Bodega Garzón owned by Alejandro P. Bulgheroni. The modern winery facility opened this past year and has applied for LEED certification. For any winery with sustainable goals, meeting the standards of “green” construction by the program Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a big deal.
(Though Bodega Garzón wines have been slow to enter the Michigan market, they are available in Ohio and at online wine sellers.)
Bodega Garzón Sauvignon Blanc Uruguay 2014, $17: Intense aromas of lemon-lime, grapefruit, passionfruit and white stone fruit are followed by vibrant, crisp-tart flavors streaked with minerality. It’s fermented and aged in stainless steel. It’s perfect for pairing with light pasta dishes, seafood and cheeses. As an aperitif or food wine, it would be delicious!
Note on following wines: Though the Tannat 2013 and Albarino 2014 are the current vintages, here are my notes on previous years to give you an idea of the style of these two wines.
Bodega Garzón Tannat Uruguay 2012, $19.99
This baby is Ink Central. Get ready for zombie teeth: It’s dark as night, intense, dense, and packed with fruit. Think berries, plums and spicy black pepper, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. It’s fermented in those concrete egg-shaped fermenters that are trending in contemporary winery circles and aged in French oak.
Bodega Garzón Albarino Uruguay 2013, $16.99
Please, pass some fresh-caught seafood. This dry white wonder is lemony-crisp and dry, streaked with minerality. It’s all peaches, grapefruit and notes of jasmine. It’s made in stainless steel to preserve that fresh fruit character.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at email@example.com.