Not too long ago, it was Uruguay Wine Week which included Tannat Day. We shared with you a lovely Tannat we enjoyed from Establecimiento Juanico in Uruguay. It was delicious and it is the National Wine, but there is more to the wines of Uruguay.
We enjoyed two wines from the Coastal region of Uruguay from Establecimiento Juanico that is owned by the Familia Deicas. Santiago Deicas is the winemaker. There was a great IG Live interview that he did with Amanda Barnes of the South American Wine Guide that we watched where he spoke about the recent vintage. He has amazing energy and is passionate about what he does.
In case you missed our earlier posting, here is a quick rundown on the region.
Uruguay sits in South American between Argentina to the West and Brazil to the Northeast. The Southern portion of the country sits on the Atlantic Ocean and the Rio de La Plata. The regions of Canelones and Maldonado get a lot of coastal influence and that impacts the wines.
Establecimiento Juanicó is located in the Canelones District, but the winery has invested in vineyards in the Maldonado region also.
You can learn more about the history of Uruguay and Establecimiento Juanico in our piece Tannat – at home in Uruguay.
*We received these wines as media samples, but all opinions are our own.
Don Pascual Red Blend 2018
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Tannat, Merlot and Marselan. If you have not heard of Marselan, you are not alone. This grape is a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache and the largest plantings of it can be found in China. In the 90’s they began planting this grape in Uruguay.
Marselan ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon so this variety is suited to this region that often struggles with rain at the end of harvest. With deep color and low tannins, this is a great tool for blending, especially with the highly tannic Tannat. Santiago told us that by itself it is sweet and soft in the mouth.
The wine is generous and juicy, a wine to be enjoyed with friends and laughter. It bursts with fresh berries, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and cherry with notes of violet. It is a joyful wine.
We paired it with Pork Barbeque sandwiches, purple cabbage slaw, and sweet potato fries and it was delicious.
Don Pascual 2020 Coastal White
This wine is a blend of Albariño and Chardonnay from Moldonado on the coast with a touch of Pinot Grigio and Verdejo from Canelones.
This is a new experimentation as they have very little of the Albarino. Santiago traveled to Galicia and spoke with winemakers. The Chardonnay blends in to give the wine backbone but the Albarino is definitely dominant. This wine is aged on the fines lees for 2 to 4 months in tank to provide roundness.
This wine is fresh with citrus notes as well as nectarine, lemon peel, a floral note, and a bit of wet stone. It is tart and fresh and just a little salty, with high acid and a beautiful roundness.
We enjoyed this with a rooftop feast of steamed mussels, scallops, pea risotto, and a fresh salad. Again this is a food-friendly wine and was delicious with all the food.
These are the perfect wines to kick off summer, as we can begin gathering with a few friends. They are wines that are meant to be shared.
If you are intrigued by these wines and would like to learn more about South American Wines, Check out the South American Wine Guide. Amanda Barnes has wonderful information on the wine regions of South American and her new book on the wines of this part of the world is coming out soon. You can pre-order it on her site.
For more information on the Wines of Uruguay, visit Uruguay Wine.
More on the wines of South American from Crushed Grape Chronicles
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.