This month we are bringing you one wine from the Southern Hemisphere and one wine made of grape varieties that are most prominent in the Southern Hemisphere.
Bodegas Garzon Pinot Noir Rosé comes to us all the way from Uruguay. Uruguay may be small compared to its neighbors (Argentina and Brazil), but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in diversity. Uruguay has no less than 99 classified soil types and has wine regions that range from rocky coastal hills to humid prairies. Garzon’s vineyards and state of the art winery are in the Department of Maldonado. No other region has the same extent of new development and investment, and it is easy to see why Maldonado has become such a hot spot for Uruguayan wine. The soils are poor, with better drainage, and have a mix of granite, rocky, and sandy soils. The climate is fresher with a stronger maritime influence and the hills are higher, meaning the cooler temperatures and wind reduce the humidity and can help make more aromatic wines with higher acidity and better vine health. Varieties range from fresh whites like Albariño, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, to light reds like Pinot Noir and Sangiovese, and darker reds like Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Tannat, of course.
Tannat is the national grape of Uruguay. It is historically grown in the South West of France in the Madiran AOC. While Tannat from France is known for its high tannin levels, Tannat from Uruguay is characterized by softer, more elegant tannins and blackberry fruit notes. Tannat is also planted across the United States, and is frequently used as a blending grape.
Day Wines “Babycheeks” Rosé is primarily Malbec, with Cabernet Franc and Tannat. You would think this wine would come from Argentina or Uruguay, but actually it is made in the Applegate Valley AVA in the Rogue Valley in Oregon. This AVA has had grape growers since the 1870’s and one of Oregon’s first wineries was established here. Grapes that thrive here include Tempranillo, Merlot, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tannat, Vermentino, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. Winemaker Brianne Day's general winemaking philosophy is as follows: native yeast fermentations, low additions of sulfur, minimal punch downs, rare pump overs, and only tiny amounts of new oak.
About the Winery: Founded by winemaker and owner Brianne Day in the 2012 vintage, Day Wines is a producer of boutique, artisanal bottlings from Applegate Valley in the south to Yamhill-Carlton in the north and numerous other AVAs in between. They source from organic and biodynamic vineyards to create distinct expressions of our corner of the world.
About the winemaking: All of the fruit for this rosé was direct pressed with no skin contact. The juice was racked into neutral French oak barrels where it went through primary and malolactic fermentation.
Tasting notes: This crisp and juicy rosé is a summer favorite. This unique blend of 57% Malbec, 24% Cab Franc, and 19% Tannat is bright, citrusy, and pretty - just lightly pink like a little porcelain baby's cheeks. It shows much more richness and depth of flavor than a typical Provence rosé, and it has a long finish.
About the Winery: Located 18km from the Atlantic Ocean, Garzon Estate has more than 1,000 small vineyard blocks covering its hillside slopes, which benefit from varying microclimates, different levels of humidity, and an intense canopy management. These factors allow the vines to develop with maximum exposure to the sun providing rich, expressive fruit. The vineyards are surrounded by lush forests, rocky soils, granite boulders, and naturally occurring palm trees.
About the winemaking: Obtained from a careful selection of Pinot Noir grapes, this rosé is made in a traditional style, with controlled temperatures, in stainless steel tanks to highlight its varietal characteristics. It is aged 3 - 6 months on the lees in the tanks.
Tasting notes: Garzon Rosé presents an elegant pale pink color. The nose is intense and fruity, with aromas reminiscent of red fruits such as cherries and strawberries. Its mouth is well balanced, with an excellent development. Its strong acidity and minerality make it an ideal wine to enjoy in marine climates. “A very beautiful rosé with sliced-strawberry and light apple character. Medium Body. Creamy and refined on the palate. Flavorful and dry on the finish. Yet, there’s serious tension and focus to the wine”. 92 Points–James Suckling