When Simon offered the 2016 vintage of this wine last year, he commented that it was one of the more fascinating wines he had tried and comfortably the most exciting newcomer he had tasted from Ribera del Duero. Well, we have now tasted the 2017 vintage and it seems these comments still very much ring true. 2017 represents the fourth vintage of this new project by the García family and the first vintage in their new cellars. The 2017 Garmón showcases the immense potential this region has to offer in the right hands, as well as signalling the owners' intent to keep pushing quality. We are very pleased to be offering 2017 Ribera del Duero 'Garmón', Bodegas Garmón Continental, offered here at £170 per 6 bottle case in bond.
Mariano García was born at perhaps the greatest estate in Ribera del Duero, Vega Sicilia, as his parents were vineyard workers. He went on to become head winemaker at the age of 24 and oversaw 30 vintages of Vega Sicilia before leaving to set up Bodegas Aalto in 1999, when he teamed up with Javier Zaccagnini, a talented viticulturalist. Since its inception, Aalto has gone from strength to strength, combining Mariano’s winemaking skill and Javier’s impeccable understanding of vineyard management.
In 2014, Mariano and his sons, Eduardo and Alberto, embarked on a new project in the Ribera del Duero, Bodegas Garmón, a name which combines the identities of the owners, the García and Montana families. It is situated in the village of Olivares de Duero, not that far from the family’s other major interest, Bodegas Mauro. They went on to build a winery in Olivares and 2017 was the first vintage to be vinified here; the first three vintages were made at Bodegas Aalto.
100% Tempranillo, the fruit for Garmón comes from old vine parcels scattered across various villages in the region, including principally vineyards in La Aguilera, which is rated for its finesse, Moradillo de Roa (a high altitude site approaching 1000 metres), but also vineyards based on the more chalky soils found at Tubilla del Lago, Baños and Hontoria de Valdearados. It’s fair to say that the García family have proven themselves expert at identifying the very best sources of fruit, and the quality they deliver more than bears out the old adage that wine is made in the vineyard.
A little fuller and spicier on the palate compared to the 2016, the 2017 Garmón exudes class; vibrant aromatics on the nose, a real purity to the dark, ripe fruit, expertly integrated tannins and impressive length…there is perhaps another level of sophistication to this vintage, with the fruit beautifully expressed, repaying their decision to ease back on the percentage of new oak. Please see below for various critic scores and notes.