The Main Character: 2018 Garzon Tannant Reserva
Where I’m from the weather has been snowy and cold. Neither conditions make for a friendly environment to smoke and enjoy fine cigars. Yes I have been writing and posting more about wine and food instead of cigars. Do not fret my fellow followers and readers. Once the weather breaks I will be posting some serious cigar reviews in time for spring and summer.
Regardless of what season it currently is, I had the immense pleasure of sampling and drinking the 2018 Garzon Tannat Reserva from Bodgea Garzon Winery. Over the past few months you may have noticed I have been on a specific focus of wines found in South America. Through Bag and String Wine Merchants I was able to land a bottle of this Uruguay wine.
The wine comes from Maldonado, Uruguay. Uruguay, is a country located on the southeastern coast of South America. The second smallest country on the continent. As I have been studying Uruguay I have found it to be a hidden diamond. Elements such as high-quality beef, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot are well-produced in Uruguay.
The signature grape of Uruguay is tannat and the featured wine for today is made with 100% tannat. It is now considered Uruguay’s national red wine. When I hear the word “tannat” my mind rushes to thoughts of harsh tannins that seem to take over your mouth and leave it bone-dry. There is some truth to this. The great part of the story is even though tannat did produce bitter tannins and high acidity, Uruguay vinters created methods to do just the opposite.
Now when you pop a cork on a bottle of wine from Uruguay you will encounter soft tannins and be overwhelmed by the dark fruit flavors such as blackberries, chocolate, plum, and cherries. Speaking of chocolate, when properly blended you will also experience hints of leather, earth, chocolate, and herbs. Most of the fine wines in Uruguay are produced in Canelones. The 2018 Garzon Tannat Reserva comes to us from Maldonado.
The Wine Maker
Everything seems to have its origin traced back to a personal dream. Someone thinks of a certain idea, ponders it, and eventually forms a dream. What we choose to do with that dream is up to us as the individual. We can take full responsability for it or we can let it die.
Bodgea Garzon Winery is the prime example of a dream manifested and lived out from the creator’s mind. Alejandro Bulgheroni and his wife Bettina discovered Garzón. Discovering Garzon wasn’t a “destiny-filler” for the couple. It was the dream within them to have modern viticulture (cultivation of grapes) in Uruguay and offer the utmost premium wines while maintaining the soul of the land within each bottle.
I won’t spoil the surprise at the moment, but this bottle was a true delight and flowing with flavors of the land. Hard work is definitely not an odd concept to these owners. Their hard work and creativity can be viewed through their vineyard which is divided over 1000 plots. The thought process, strategy, and execution all speaks for itself and is based on what the land has to offer.
Sustainable management is at the top of their list for their winery. What this tells us is they choose to do away with herbicides and manufactured products. The focus and end-game is to harvest high-quality grapes while maintaining tradition.
“Our goal is making wines of the utmost quality with a strong identity, personality and a profound sense of place.” – Founder Alejandro Bulgheroni
Enough stated. You had me at Alejandro’s quote on quality. Opening a bottle of 2018 Garzon Tannat Reserva is about a bottle infused with the highest possible quality. Hand-picked grapes, hand-selected for fermentation and as little as possible intervention in the wine making process. If you had the choice would you choose quality or quantity?
In my wine tasting journal I made notes about the look and color of the Tannat Reserva. There is a deep intensity at its core and spreads out into a purple hue closer to the rim of the glass. While analyzing the color, the color is so deep I couldn’t see my thumb through the other side of the glass.
After a slight swirl in the glass to open the aromas up a little more, the aromas I picked up were fascinating. On the nose immediate wafts of plum, earth, dark cherries, and lavender. I chose to wait a few minutes in between smelling my wine. On the second pass I gathered slight clues of dried raisins, oak, vanilla, and chocolate. The aromas seem to have made for the imagination of a fruity chocolate dessert in a glass.
On the palate touches of dark cherries, ripe plum, and dried fruit presented themselves well. Every wine has a beginning, middle, and end. Towards the end of savoring, the notes of chocolate, earth, oak, and vanilla made for a long and enjoyable finish.
Normally I am kind of rebellious about wine and food pairings. Keeping the “snobbery” of the wine world at bay is usually at the forefront of my intentions. After tasting the 2018 Garzon Tannat Reserva, I believe there is a need to be very intentional in food pairing this time around.
Due to the complex flavors discovered within this wine I recommend engaging it with a selection of red meat. Grilled, pan-seared or oven roasted beef is a solid choice with this wine. I recommend choosing cuts with heavy marbling (marbling refers to white flecks and streaks of fat within the lean sections of meat). Also known as a fatty piece of meat.
The second suggestion is an oven-roasted leg of lamb. The rich taste and flavors of the lamb will need the balance of the bold tannat wine. Third, don’t be afraid to stock your refrigerator with deer venison. One can relate it’s probably not your number one choice for a dinner party, but trust me. It’s one of the most hunted animals in the United States.
Yes it does taste gamey and at times can be the elephant in the room. There are ways around this. Deer venison is lean and carries a rich taste. Therefore a gamey dish like so will require a red wine like the 2018 Garzon Tannat Reserva. The venison will taste more luxurious and create a clean palate after every bite.
Finally consider pairing it with chocolate for dessert. Anything “chocolate” makes for a great evening finisher.
One doesn’t have to go far or spend extensive amounts of money to acquire fine wine. Doing your research and cultivating patience will enable you to understand and locate what your flavor pallet is craving. Don’t know where to begin or what you’re looking for, ask me. I am here to serve you as your own professionally trained and personal sommelier (wine steward) or wine coach.
There only money you’ll pay is for your wine. Interested in a free virtual wine tasting? Just inquire. The end goal for me is to help you experience and encounter wine the way you were meant to enjoy it. Too personal, no worries. I suggest when you go to the local wine store, ask the clerk. Their job is to know the wine and help you understand your palate.
Wine is not just wine. Wine is a story and history in liquid form. Each bottle contains culture, cuisine, customs, and geography. Paying for two, six or a case of bottles from privately owned wineries like Bodgea Garzon Winery enables them to create, make a living, and contribute to the betterment of our society and culture.
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