Wines of Uruguay
Andreas Larsson tells you all about it!
During the summer holidays, Andreas Larsson, Best Sommelier of the World had the great pleasure to travel to South America to realize different blindtasting. One of them took place in Uruguay, a “rather small and rather young wine country” with “wonderful” people and wines “fundamentally different to those of Chile and Argentina”. We invite you to discover what does Andreas think about this wine trip to Uruguay, what are his first impressions and what are the wines that impressed him the most during this journey.
Andreas Larsson: “Even if I tasted some of the wines previously on various occasions, this was my first time I did an extensive tasting of the wines from Uruguay.
My first impression is rarely only about the wines themselves, the people are wonderful, friendly constantly smiling with a very laid back European lifestyle loving to eat fantastic meat, drink and smile!
My second impression regarding the wines, is that it´s very evident that they are fundamentally different to those of Chile and Argentina. This less forgiving climate bring the wines closer to Europe in terms of vintage variation, ripeness, freshness and tannic structures. I also think that most of these are small, medium sized family wineries which gives bigger stylistic differences from the charmingly old fashioned and rustic, to lush modern and polished with everything in between.
The white wines showed resemblance to western France from the Loire to the South West and most of the unoaked examples were pleasing in their aromatic and fresh styles, even if many were on the lighter side. There were some more structured and ambitious ones that showed well but when oak gets involved it´s always tricky as some of the wines were too dominant by woody and roasted notes.
Same goes for the reds. A lot of the softer version, carbonic maceration, rounded and juicy on the fruity side, were really pleasing and easy to enjoy. There were more variation in the richer and fuller spectrum. I really enjoyed a lot of the Tannat and Tannat based blends as well as the Cabernet family with some marvellous Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc versions being fragrant, savoury and structured.
The tannic varieties are doubtlessly tricky and some version were a bit on the extracted and harsh side, and particularly when oak comes into the picture plus the high extractions the actual wine seemed to disappear. Without even looking at my notes, I´m sure that I rated some “classic” cuvées higher than some “prestige” ones thanks to this.
Stylistically for the red wines, South Western France feels quite closed here as well with some northern Italy and Spanish influences as well, but more Europe than new world including the stylistic differences between producers. I left with a lot of good wines in my mind. There´s still a lot of room for improvement for certain styles. However, this rather small and rather young wine country will surely continue to develop and deliver personal and expressive wines to the world.”
Andreas Larsson, Monteviedeo, Uruguay, August 2017.
WINE OF THE DAY
Domaine Saint Rémy – Sylvaner 2015
France – Alsace
Cave de Saint Pourçain – Cuvée Tradition 2014
France – Auvergne – Saint Pourçain
Erwin Sabathi – Ried Pössnitzberg Sauvignon Blanc G Stk 2015
Austria – Steiermark – Südsteiermark
Château La Robertie – 2011
France – Sud Ouest – Côtes De Bergerac
Chakana – Estate Selection Chardonnay 2015
Argentina – Mendoza
Gramona – Enoteca Gran Reserva 2001
Spain – Cava
Bric Castelvej – Vigna Bricco Novara 2015
Italy – Piedmont – Roero Arneis