Anyone ever come across Deicas? I went to a tasting there yesterday and was blown away by the quality. I knew that Argentina and Chile have far more depth that one might guess from what you generally get in the UK, but I hadn’t realised tiny little Uruguay could also produce world class wines.
They seem truly cutting edge in their approach and for their top wines, some of their viticulture and winemaking borders on extreme. For example they prune to leave on just one bunch per vine. On the sorting table they pick each grape by hand, no machines. Never heard that outside the very top estates.
I had a Preludio, both white and red, which are both blends, the red largely Cabernet Franc and 5 other varieties; a Cru Exception Merlot and their flagship Tannat, Massimo Deicas. For sure I had preferences, but all of them were showstoppers in terms of quality.
Problem is that, as you can imagine, they are far from cheap, typically £40-£60 a bottle (and a lot higher for the more mature vintages). So we are into ‘classics’ prices here but for me, they truly competed at that level. Of course whether people will pay those sums for a wine from Uruguay is more of an issue.
Big operation, long established, aka Establicimiento Juanico. They have a large estate in Canelones, and have function rooms, holiday rentals and a large comfy tasting room, and a converted cellar from 1745 which houses their museum. We were lucky to arrive when it was very quiet and had an interesting tasting; they let you pick any 4 of their portfolio to try.
Yep, that’s the place we were at. Maybe they changed it since back then because we had a choice of 6 wines at $35 including a platter of matching foods, or the $55 version which included the wines I mentioned (also included were a decent sparkler and very interesting botrytis dessert wine) They seem to have a truly vast range.
I decided the expensive stuff we tasted was going to be wasted back on my cruise ship, without the right glassware, so I brought back a more affordable bottle of one of their many single vineyard wines, Sierra de Mahoma, along with a couple of those dessert wines. I gather Tim Atkin has publicised them a little (he was there on the morning we visited) so maybe they will be seen in the UK a bit more.
God I get fed up with the prices disappearing when a wine is out of stock. I did complain to MS and got some story about memory capacity, but when all the other info is there I can’t believe the price field would make much difference! It’s so annoying when you’re looking at a wine you don’t know and have no idea at all what it costs.
Yes I also thought the tasting prices were fair. We also got a guided tour of the winery and vineyards after.
Pisano looks a lot more rustic. My guess is their focus in on wine first and foremost, wine tourism second. Deicas seemed much more set up for the latter. The other one that was suggested to us was Bouza, which is apparently even more ‘touristy’ but still apparently make some pretty good wine.
Maybe I’ll try the Pisano they currently list though Tannat is not my favourite grape. The Massimo Deicas, the flagship Tannat in their portfolio, was an amazing wine, massive structure, but not a personal favourite.
FWIW, I bought a case of the 2015 Deicas Gran Bodegon last year, with it being a birth-year-of-our-boy vintage and a wine that both wife & I liked on the basis of a single bottle purchase as first dibs early last year. It’s a Tannat-based blend.
We’ve since opened two of those further six, and have enjoyed both of them; a lot of wine for the money, we both thought, and plenty of time for them yet. Fleshy, rich & tasty from memory, with very good balance between the various elements. But not cloying or OTT in any way due to nice tanniny dryness in there.
As of this afternoon, there was a bottle or two still there in the showroom in the Aladdin’s cave at the back.
I agree that this is annoying, but one factor might be that the price can change, so there isn’t a single price to show. You could use the last price at which it was listed, but that in itself might be misleading, if it was discounted to sell out. Just a thought.
I think when a wine is discounted both the original and discounted price are shown, and both of these could remain. I know also the past price might not be the future price. I don’t expect the price shown to be a guarantee for the future either, but it would just be helpful to have some idea. When someone mentions a wine and you’re interested it would be useful to know roughly if it’s a £15 or a £50 wine without having to go on a search of the Internet.
Nice to see they are a bit more available than I thought. I didn’t try that particular wine but I’m not surprised it was good. I got a strong sense these guys know what they are doing.
I’m not sure they make all that much of the wines I tasted. I saw the cellar which houses all the the maturing wines for their various super premium cuvees. It was not very big. As ever, it’s a case of whether a £30 plus premium on top of the wine you bought makes sense. Probably not but still nice to try them. I’ll certainly keep on eye on the WS list to see if any more are forthcoming, including from the other wineries I heard about over there.
Yes called in at Bouza, as walk-ins. Had to wait in line for a table just to taste some wines, very busy. Tasting flights were expensive but the wines we had were “correct” though bland, characterless and generally forgettable. Much better bets nearby would be De Lucca, Artesana or Dardanelli.
Ha ! no, we just spent about 3 weeks there in 2020 mainly looking at wineries - as others who have visited the country know, the three main wine regions of Colonia, Canelones and Maldonado are close together. We also got up north to the region adjacent to Brazil’s Campanha and down the Rio Uruguay through Salto.