2013 Bodega Garzón Sauvignon Blanc, Uruguay ($17)
I actually know Uruguay…I went on a wine trip there about two years ago…and my takeaway was: excellent red wines! They specialize in the red grape variety Tannat, the heart and soul of Madiran in southwest France. Me LOVE my Uruguayan Tannat: beefy and satisfying, while remaining polite enough for dinner! The whites made less of an impression…so I wasn’t prepared for the beneficial zing of this Sauvignon Blanc, which I tasted in New York recently! On my Uruguayan trip, I had visited the big-deal Bodega Garzón winery about an hour north of Montevideo. What I saw there was big bucks, and big dreams of cracking the global market. With this Sauvignon Blanc, they are on their way! It is pale straw in the glass, with a lovely nose combining just the right amount of tropical fruit (NOT obnoxious!) and my fave SB aroma: you could call it black currant, or grapefruit, but to me it smells like the underarms of a tee-shirt left in the gym locker for a few weeks, HOLD ON! I’m saying this is a good thing! Trust me! Very distinctive!!!! And very varietal! And all of these notes re-appear on the palate, which is medium-bodied and quite dry. If you drink it super-cold, it is absolutely delicious: the acid tingles like crazy (acid is a high 7.6 grams per liter, with a low 3.06 pH)…and the 13% alcohol remains hidden. When the drinking temperature rises, the wine is still delicious…but a little more angular.
For food, cold helps again: if it’s icy, the wine goes well with cooked shellfish (though it might be a little hot for oysters). But whatever the temperature (down to merely cold), it’s a great picnic wine, covering a swath from cold meats to chunky salads.
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Photo by Terry Seal