Tannat is Uruguay’s signature grape. Unlike the fiercely tannic Tannats of France’s Madiran region, those of Uruguay are accessible early on with rich flavors, good depth, and in the hands of the right winemakers, like Juan Andrés and Alejandro Marichal of Bodega Marichal, they offer complexity and refinement. We review the new releases of Bodega Marichal below. For more about Bodega Marichal and Tannat, see our report on Tannat and Other Wines of Uruguay.
Founded in 1938, Bodega Marichal is a family winery with 50 ha of estate vineyards that is today managed by Juan Andrés and Alejandro Marichal. Located in Etchevarría, Canelones, close to the Rio de la Plata (see map), the vineyards receive constant sea breezes and cool evenings that contribute to the freshness of its wines. The soils are calcareous-clay.
The US Importer is Global Vineyard Importers.
Marichal 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Canelones (Uruguay) ($14) 90 A bright, fresh and varietally correct Sauvignon Blanc from the Canelones region of Uruguay. There’s good depth of flavor and bright acidity, resulting a refreshing wine with lemon, grapefruit, and green apple aromas and flavors. Very good, long and rich finish. Excellent value!
Marichal 2020 Tannat Canelones Uruguay ($16) 89 Medium ruby. Marichal’s entry level Tannat provides good drinking pleasure and very good value. There are spicy dark red fruited aromas followed by a clean attack. The medium weight palate is flavorful, balanced with firm, round tannins and finishes medium long. There’s not much more one could ask for at this price level. 13% alc.
Marichal 2019 Tannat Reserve Collection Canelones Uruguay ($20) 91 Dark ruby. A clear step up from the regular bottling, the Reserve Collection Tannat offers a liqueur-like bouquet of blackberry, cassis, and hints of toasty oak. It’s full and round feeling in the mouth with the proper balance, nice flavor depth, firm but accessible tannins, and a lingering finish. 70% aged 12 months in oak barrels; 13% alc.
Marichal 2018 “A” Tannat Grand Reserve Canelones Uruguay ($65) 93 Opaque in color, the “A” Grand Reserve is an outstanding wine in every respect. Beginning with a multifaceted bouquet of dark berry, perfumed cedar, and a note of loamy soil, on the mouth filling palate it’s superbly balanced with a smooth, silky texture and a long, focused finish. One of Uruguay’s most refined Tannats. Sourced from a 45 year old single vineyard and matured 20 months in oak barrels and concrete tanks; 13.5% alc.