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European launch for first Uruguayan icon wine at Vinexpo

Published:  23 June, 2017

Uruguayan producer Bodega Garzon unveiled the first edition of its new Balasto 2015 blend during an event presided over by celebrated asado chef Francis Mallman during Vinexpo.

The wine, which is a 2015 blend of Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Marselan, born of an ongoing collaboration with leading Italian consultant Alberto Antonini, marks the latest step by the multi-million dollar-backed estate to create a quality benchmark for Uruguay on the international markets.

“With Balasto we are looking to create an icon for Uruguay, to lead the way in showing its potential,” said Christian Wylie, general manager at Garzon, speaking at the event, hosted at Château de Lantic in Martillac, echoing the European-leaning style of the wines.

The Bodega Garzon project is part of entrepreneur Alejandro Bulgheroni’s growing global collection of Family Vineyards, which includes estates in Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa, Barossa, Mendoza and Patagonia.

The Uruguayan investment was seeded by Bulgheroni close to the town of Garzon in Maldonado province in 1999, just 11 kilometres from the wealthy coastal retreat of Punte del Este on the cool Atlantic coast, with the express purpose of creating “a little Tuscany” in South America.

The Bulgheroni family employed Antonini from the outset with a brief to identify a site and then plant vines that would ultimately deliver world-class Uruguayan wines.

2014 marked the first commercially harvested vintage from Garzon, with single varietal and blended wines based on Tannat, Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Marselan, Albarino and Viognier, among the foremost grapes.

Balasto will be produced in limited quantities, being offered at around US$100 in the US, with a similar euro price expected in Europe.

“We want the price to be accessible so that a wider number of people can try and enjoy the wine,” said Wylie. “This is a wine that is about Uruguay, its amazing terroirs and culture, not just Garzon.”