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Tim Atkin MW launches first Uruguay report

Published:  16 April, 2020

Tim Atkin MW, Harpers columnist and leading UK wine writer, has launched his inaugural Uruguay Special Report, following a visit to the country in January this year. 

In the report, Atkin points to Uruguay as one of the most “exciting up-and-coming wine-producing countries in the world right now”, adding that “it may be the second smallest nation in Latin America, but it’s definitely punching above its weight”.  

“Uruguay has a tradition of winemaking that stretches back to the second half of the 19th century and quite possibly before that, but in many ways, it is a young presence on the world scene. Some good wines were made in the 1970s and 1980s – I’ve been lucky enough to taste some of them – but world-class ones are much more recent,” he said. 

"Uruguay is making the best wines in its history. What’s more, there are surely even better things to come," added Atkin, whose only other visit to the country was 21 years ago. 

Atkin also highlights the diversity of wines from Uruguay, best known for Tannat, pinpointing Albariño as a grape variety to watch in particular.  

“Uruguay is best known for Tannat, a grape imported from Argentina in 1871, but its wines are much more diverse than that single grape variety. Albariño in particular has a fantastic future close to the Atlantic Ocean.”

The top-scoring wines in the report are Bouza Monte Vide Eu 2018, a blend of Tannat, Merlot and Tempranillo, and Garzón Petit Clos Block # 212 Tannat 2018, which Atkin describes as “world class”. Both rate 97 points.

To compile the report, which also singles out Atkin’s best wines and winemakers, Atkin visited a wide range of the country’s producers and tasted over 220 wines, eventually focusing on 146 which he scored 90 points or higher.

His Podium celebrates the talent of Eduardo Boido of Bodega Bouza as Winemaker of the Year, while the Winemaking Legend title goes to Daniel Pisano of Pisano Wines. 

Santiago Deicas of Familia Deicas is named Young Winemaker of the Year.