Juan Andrés Marichal is one our favorite Uruguayan winemakers, and these new releases of his don’t disappoint. Bodega Marichal is a family-owned winery established in 1938 in the Canelones region located west of Montevideo. We visited Juan at his winery when we traveled to Uruguay for our Report # 57 Tannat and Other Wines of Uruguay.
Bodega Marichal has 50 hectares of estate vineyards with calcareous clay soils located near the coast and benefits from the cooling breezes of the Río de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean. It produces about 10 thousand cases annually.
At about 35° South, Uruguay is located in that latitudinal band where vines grow and wines are made around the world and is about the same latitude as Mendoza and Santiago. About nine thousand hectares of vines are currently under cultivation, with Tannat being the vinous star of Uruguay. Tannat is a variety that can produce fiercely tannic wines in its home in Madirán, France. It was a Frenchman, Pascual Harriague, who first brought the grape to Uruguay in 1870, where it produces more consumer friendly wines.
These wines are imported by Global Vineyard Importers of Berkeley CA.
Marichal 2016 Merlot Canelones ($16) 90 Medium ruby red. A savory, earthy bouquet gives way to abundant dark red fruited flavors accented by tobacco and dried herbs. The mouth feel is suave but firmly structured, finishing with long lasting richness.
Marichal 2015 Tannat Reserve Collection Canelones ($20) 90 Medium ruby red. Revealing a perfume of fresh dark red fruit with notes of earth and dried herbs, this Tannat offers a lot for the price. The mouth feel is soft, the flavors fresh with interwoven fruit and a hint of tobacco, finishing long.
Marichal 2013 Tannat A Grand Reserve Canelones ($65) 93 The Tannat A Grand Reserve opens with a beautifully perfumed, ripe, spicy nose. It proceeds to a lush, silky palate with impressive depth of fruit on a pure, impeccably balanced palate, all backed up with firm, round tannins. Outstanding. Sourced from a 40 year old, single vineyard.