Garmon 2019 Release
After a week of tastings in London, I will be in Burgundy next week trying to taste (and more importantly secure) whatever little 2021 white Burgundy has been made. If you have not already heard, most producers have lost over 60% of the crop (some over 80), so allocations will be very tight.
In the meantime, Garmon 2019 was released a few weeks ago. There is already massive demand from the market, so I thought I better release it to the regular followers before the trade takes all my stock.
Normally, I would wait for a few critics/magazines to publish their ratings, so you do not have to rely solely on my opinion. But the demand from the trade is so high that I have decided to jump the gun for this release. The only critic who has published the review of the 2019 vintage so far, is Tim Atkin MW who gives it 97 points. With the overall quality of the 2019 in Ribera and ratings given to other top end wines from the region, I would expect that Garmon will be scoring very highly, so the demand will only raise.
As some of you might remember from the release of Aalto 2019, the vintage was about as good as they get. Delayed winter allowed the vines to rest properly; spring brought some rain to kick off the growing season which was very stable all the way especially in the high altitude vineyards. All in all, an easy year to manage with relaxed, slow harvest giving very fine, concentrated juice with refined and polished tannins.
Garmon 2019 - £180.00 per 6 bott under bond ex Vinotheque
ZR – (easy) 18+
On to Garmon 2019 itself – my rating (18+) is the same as for the 2018 however, I personally prefer this style of the 19. Whilst 2018 showed more elegance (Pauilac in style if you like – think of Lynch Bages / Pontet Canet), the 2019 is more classic powerful Ribera (St Julien style – think of Ducru Beaucaillou / Leoville Barton). I also think that 19 will last much longer and eventually develop more complexity (for those of you who are patient).
However, if you wish to tuck in straight after we have it delivered, you would not be disappointed. It delivers all that you might want from a big intense, full bodied red. I have had a first bottle last autumn immediately after bottling which I consumed over 3 days; it just kept growing in the stature and complexity. I also opened 2 bottles over the last 2 weeks for trade tastings and it was very consistent; intense, ink black and shiny in appearance; focused and concentrated small black autumn berries all the way without being overripe or jammy.
That is the beauty of vineyards at around 1000 m high. Wines retain the freshness irrelevant of the level of ripeness. There are some extremely complex and intense tannins, but they are fully ripe and integrated. The whole thing is just one big bowl of flavour and seems to go on forever. It had spent 20 months in French wood, so there is fine grain wood in the back, but all well balanced and you need to look for it through all that fruit. This will evolve effortlessly over the next 5 – 10 years (if one can control oneself) and will drink for further 20 at least. An excellent effort. Every time I look at my notes I feel that I had been stingy with my rating. Tim Atkin MW calls it “a world class red”… “spicy, chalky, structured yet refined with haunting perfume...".
A lot of wine for this money whichever way you look at it.
For those of you who would like more technical data and Tim’s full notes, please click on the link below:
Garmon 2019 Release
And, yes, for those of you with (long term) investment in mind, the Ribera is now increasingly seen by the trade as the next Bolgheri and wines like Garmon with consistent ratings in mid 90’s have a very strong chance to be the next big thing (I think of Ornellaia, Sassica etc, some 10 years ago).
All the components are there:
- it is produced in relatively small quantities for a big region like Ribera; current production around 4.5 - 5 000 cases – third of that of Ch. Latour, half of production of Ch. Angelus or Sassicaia;
- the entire region has drastically increased in quality and is now producing wines considered by the trade to be the highest in Spain;
- the region has already produced 2 cult wines: Vega Sicilia and Pingus hitting the price levels of the greatest wineries in the world;
- the estate is owned and run by one of the best wine making families in Spain;
- at these price levels, it is well below any other estate with such high average ratings by critics. Your £ will not buy this level of quality and consistency any where else in the world;
- and finally, I have tasted 2020 in barrel and seen the high quality juice coming in to the winery for the 2021. The quality here is only going to improve. Reports on 2022 harvest are also very promising – I will be in Garmon in couple of weeks’ time and very much looking forward to it.
So, whether you fancy some serious high quality bargain to add to your drinking cellar, or to take a long term investment punt, this should be a very serious contender especially at these opening prices (you will not find any vintage of Garmon for much less than £180 per 6). The allocations are getting very thigh and as ever, and the priority will be given to those who bought previous vintages. Any stock left will be allocated on first come first served basis.
All the best
City Wine Collection Ltd