I discovered Tannat a few years ago when I learned that it was touted as one of the “healthiest” red wine grapes, thanks to much higher levels of antioxidants (a.k.a. resveratrol). Being the health enthusiast that I am, I immediately needed to check it out. I was delighted to find a very delicious red wine. Today’s article is devoted to this grape and wine. I hope you enjoy it.
The Grape’s History
Tannat originates in southwest France, on the Spanish border. The grape likely got its French name from its high tannin levels. In fact, its high tannin levels have made the grape a popular blending grape.
In 1870, the grape was brought to Uruguay by Basque immigrants. It is now the national grape of Uruguay, similar to how Malbec, another French grape, is the national grape of Argentina. In fact, more Tannat now grows in Uruguay than in France.
According to Fine Wine Concierge, “Unlike the French version, which can be very dry and rustic, [Uruguay] Tannat is lighter in body, less tannic and usually lower in alcohol.” As a result of these differences, it is often made into a standalone wine.
Besides growing in France and Uruguay, Tannat is also grown in Argentina, Brazil, Australia, South Africa and the United States.
Aromas and Tastes
I would describe this dark wine as rugged. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Here are some of the key characteristics to look for in this wine: black plum, blackberry, black currant, black cherry, black licorice, dark chocolate, cardamom, tobacco, leather, smoke and cigar box. The last three characteristics come along as the wine ages. This wine is very capable of aging.
According to Wine Folly, “Given the tightly-wound tannins, Tannat begs for food that brings the hearty duo of high protein and high fat to the table. Why? The fats and proteins soften the intense gripping quality of high tannins. The happy pairings of beef, sausage, cassoulet, roasted lamb, duck confit, and assorted aged cheese (reach for Roquefort or Chaumes) will gladly serve to soften the tannins and amplify the rich vibe of the food itself.”
WineShop At Home Has a Great Tannat
Our Monarch Tannat is quite wonderful. Feel free to buy a bottle or two on my website.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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