Vegan, Vegetarian, Sustainable
This wine is pale yellow in colour with green reflections. On the nose, there are fruity aromas of peach and citrus, and white floral notes. The freshness and minerality on the mid-palate is superb, ably supported by a remarkable acidity, which frames the juicy fruit on the crisp finish.
Bodega Garzón is a family-owned winery in Maldonado on the Atlantic coast in southern Uruguay. They pioneered viticulture in this area over 10 years ago, and have since become the standard-bearer for premium wines from Uruguay. In November 2018, their pioneering status was recognised by Wine Enthusiast with the ‘New World Winery of the Year’ award.
In 2007, owner Alejandro Bulgheroni invited consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini to visit his 700 hectare olive farm situated between the small town of Garzón and the beach. With stunning views, rolling hills and olive trees, Alberto was taken aback by its beauty, likening it to his native Tuscany. Following proper analysis of the soil and conditions, it became clear that this site had huge potential to produce premium wines. Originally they planted Tannat (Uruguay’s flagship variety) and Albariño, as Alberto identified clear similarities between Galicia and Garzón in terms of the cooling Atlantic breezes and well-draining granitic soils. Over the past 10 years, these rolling hills have been planted with olive groves and vineyards, with 12 grape varieties now planted on the estate. It is a patchwork quilt of 1,150 individual plots of around 0.2 hectares in size, each plot carefully chosen for a specific variety according to its soil and microclimate.
Alberto has a light hand in the winery and is very careful with the use of oak. As with his other projects around the world, he has moved away from barriques in favour of concrete fermenters and large, untoasted oak. He does this in order to produce pure expressions of variety and place and to avoid masking the character of his wines. The winery is specially designed to operate as sustainably as possible and in 2019 made history as the first winery in the world to earn LEED certification for its entire facility (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Built on natural terraces, the winery uses cutting edge technology and operates using a gravity flow system to ensure quality and energy efficiency at every stage of production. Given the spectacular winery and stunning landscape, the on-site Francis Mallmann restaurant and proximity to Punta del Este, Uruguay’s most popular resort, it was no surprise that Garzón was awarded a place within the top five for the third consecutive year at the IWC-sponsored World’s Best Vineyards Awards in 2021, as voted by over 500 wine industry experts.
The Reserve wines are modern and characterful expressions of single varieties made from carefully selected, hand-harvested grapes. The Albariño Reserve has aromas of white peach, citrus fruit and jasmine, and culminates in a long, refreshing finish. Unoaked, it spends about five months on the lees in order to obtain its beautiful textural quality on the palate. The Tannat, Marselan and Cabernet Franc Reserve all spend up to 12 months ageing on the lees in stainless steel tanks and large untoasted casks. The Tannat is intense and juicy with ripe tannins and a lingering freshness. The Marselan has pronounced flavours of red fruits, mint and eucalyptus and the Cabernet Franc is perfumed with a distinctive herbal character and soft tannins.
Located 11 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the estate has more than 1,000 small vineyard blocks covering hillside slopes, which benefit from varying microclimates, different levels of humidity and very careful canopy management. Well-draining granitic soils and cooling Atlantic breezes allow the grapes to ripen steadily. The vineyards are surrounded by lush forests, palm trees, rocky soils and granite boulders.
The 2022 vintage started with a winter with low temperatures, ensuring a uniform budbreak. Spring was dry, resulting in the need for irrigation to supply the vines with the water they needed to develop their normal cycle. Summer began with warm, clear days and long hours of sun exposure, which allowed the clusters to ripen beautifully. January encountered frequent and heavy rainfall, typical of the time of year, but thankfully this did not negatively impact the quality of the grapes. Due to a combination of careful management in the vineyards, the topography, and the constant sea breeze from the Atlantic, the grapes were in pristine condition at harvest.
The hand-harvested grapes were carefully selected and fed into a press by gravity to undergo a gentle pressing. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks for two weeks at controlled temperatures. The wine then spent a further three to six months on lees in stainless steel before being bottled.