Familia Deicas Massimo Deicas Tannat 2013

Familia Deicas Massimo Deicas Tannat 2013, Uruguay

Right at the end of a short but intense visit to Uruguayan wine country, I stopped at Familia Deicas winery.

Their consultant, the well known international winemaker Paul Hobbs, also happened to be visiting, so it was a great chance to pick his brains about Uruguayan wine as well as quiz him on how his approach to winemaking has changed over time.

Little did I know, however, that we’d be doing this not just over tasting and dinner – but also on camera, after midnight, surrounded by yet more wine…

The results are below. Both Paul and Santiago are wonderfully cogent and eloquent in the videos. (Hobbs, for example, reveals his family were teetotal – milk was his staple food accompaniment for many years – and how wine can help you, ‘to smell flowers and enjoy life.’) To be honest, I’m just trying to make sure my words come out in (roughly) the right order.

By way of background, Deicas is owned in conjunction with Juanic√≥, and together they make up one of the country’s largest fine wine producers. I was very impressed by their wines, as well as Santiago’s knowledge and enthusiasm. They have plenty of things in the pipeline, including some intriguing new wines under the Extreme Vineyards brand, and their Prelude Chardonnay 2017 was seriously elegant. The Tannats in particular were notably classy. We also tasted some older wines with dinner – the Preludio Tannat 1992, though starting to fade, was testament to how well Tannat can mature in bottle, with its engaging tobacco and dried fruit flavours. This was one of the first Uruguayan wines from the modern era to gain international recognition, so a taste of history.

This Massimo 2013 was their first harvest with Hobbs. I also tasted the 2016, ‘our vision for the future’ said a clearly excited Santiago, which was bursting with freshness and vibrancy. But the 2013 was impressive too: smoky, creamy and rugged, with tons of juicy fruit and abundant fine tannin, plus an elegant finish. The modern face of Uruguay, in a bottle. (7.5-8/10, Peter, March 2018)