Mariano Garcia was born and grew up at the iconic Vega Sicilia estate where his parents worked. He later became the bodega’s winemaker, crafting the legendary Unico 1968 in his first vintage at the helm. For 30 years Mariano Garcia was Vega Sicilia’s technical director, overseeing the great wines of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. He left the estate in 1998 to focus on family winemaking projects.
Like Vega Sicilia itself, Garmon is located in Ribera del Duero – the Pauillac of Spain, Rioja’s great rival and home to the country’s finest and most expensive reds. The name is a contraction of the surnames of Mariano’s sons, Alberto and Eduardo GARcia-MONtana. As you would expect from such winemaking royalty, the wine is very special; perhaps less expectedly, it is something of a bargain.
100% Tinto Fino – the local name of the Rioja grape, Tempranillo – grown at high altitude, Garmon exemplifies the new wave style in Ribera. This contemporary style privileges fruit purity, freshness and the terroir expression of ancient, deep-rooted, bush vines. Ribera’s climate may be very warm but, grown at 700-1,000m above sea level, the fruit holds a fragrance, vibrancy and balance that Garcia and his sons are determined to lock into their finished wines.
2019 is just the sixth vintage of Garmon to be released yet, already, the quality levels they are achieving are quite stunning. In addition to Mariano’s intimidating CV, Eduardo has worked at Cos d’Estournel, Domaine Hubert Lignier and Ridge Vineyards – Garmon is a result of the family’s combined pedigree and passion. That the fruit of such old vines, from Spain’s prime red wine region, crafted by such a talented dynasty, can be offered at such an affordable price is astonishing.
Fans of great Spanish wine – hell, fans of wine! – should immediately find space for a case or two of Garmon in the cellar. This is a winery that is going places and it will pay to be on the ride from the early days.
$405 per case (1×6) OC (inc GST $437.40)
Intense, dark-toned and spicy with a measure of smokey / mineral reductive notes. Some violets in the background and the signature of extremely high quality French oak – bacon fat, toast and vanilla. The palate has a distinct grip right from the beginning but is as notable for its lift as it is for its density. As the tannins build on the palate they become more mineral, saline and complex. The fruit has a creamy richness to counteract the structure. A smokey element comes through on the mid-palate. Finishes markedly fresh and sustains impressive concentration throughout.
95/100 – Matthew Hemming MW
The profile of the 2019 Garmón is quite classical Ribera del Duero, with good ripeness, Tempranillo typicity and generous oak, delivering wines of high regularity and a recognizable profile for the public. It has smoky notes of bacon and spices, black fruit, good ripeness, 14.5% alcohol and a juicy and creamy mouthfeel with ripe tannins and an oaky finish. It matured in 225-liter French oak barrels for 20 months. 49,504 bottles produced. It was bottled in September 2021.
93/100 – Luis Gutierrez / robertparker.com
Eduardo Garcia used fruit from six different villages – Anguix, Banos de Valdearados, Le Aguilera, Moradillo, Quintanilla de Onesimo and Tubilla del Lago – to produce the latest vintage of this world-class red, blending their characters as an artist might mix a palette of colours. Spicy, chalky, structured yet refined, with a haunting perfume, subtle oak, enviable density, energy and poise and the concentration to age. 2024-2035.
97/100 – Tim Atkin MW / timatkin.com