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Why You Need To Drink Extra Tannat Wine

Tannat, with its roots in Madiran (a tiny village in South West France), would possibly simply be the following Malbec. Why? Properly, it has extra gusto than Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat wines from up-and-coming Uruguay are surprisingly inexpensive! Right here’s what you have to know.

Tannat wine color and grapes illustration by Wine Folly

Enjoyable Information About Tannat Wine

  1. Tannat made its first look on Wine Spectator’s High 100 Wines of the Yr in 2017. It listed #41 with Bodega Garzon 2015 “Reserve” Tannat from Uruguay (~$ 17). (Tried it – scrumptious!)
     
  2. Tannat is a superb worth! A fantastic bottle of Tannat will is priced between $ 15-$ 30.
     
  3. Tannat has been touted as being one of many “healthiest” crimson wine grapes, because of a lot increased ranges of antioxidants (like resveratrol).
     
  4. Newer Tannat vine clones are bettering this wine. They keep energy, construction, and complexity, however roll again the frisky acidity and heavy-handed fruit profile.
     

Tannat Tasting notes and flavors illustration by Wine Folly

What Does Tannat Style Like?

Tannat tastes vary from crimson to black fruit with an honest dose of black licorice, vanilla, darkish chocolate, espresso, and smoke alongside a signature word of cardamom and brown spices. Sometimes, the extra oak-aging, the extra spice-driven character the wine will carry. Likewise, the extra maceration (time the juice spends swimming within the grape’s skins), the extra intense the colour pigments and tannins will likely be within the ultimate wine.


French-vs-Uruguay-Tannat-Wine-Bottles

French Tannat vs Uruguay Tannat

French Tannat From Madiran

Flavors: French Tannat leans extra readily into crimson fruit flavors, particularly raspberry, with tighter, gripping tannins, and unmistakable energy.

The Tannat grape is a little bit of a chameleon and shines otherwise relying on the place it’s grown. Historically, Madiran Tannat is a giant wine, with full throttle tannins and searing acidity. For that reason, it’s usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc to ease astringency. Nonetheless, French legislation requires a minimal of 60% Tannat on wines labeled “Madiran AOC.” That stated, many regional winemakers go for 100% Tannat as a result of they only love the stuff. In conclusion, count on French Tannat to have feisty tannins, an opaque “black wine” coloration, elevated alcohol, and cellar-worthiness. Strive setting one down for a decade (if you happen to can wait that lengthy!).

Uruguay Tannat

Flavors: In Uruguay, the tannins come throughout as extra pliable and softer on the method, whereas the fruit profiles are principally black fruits, like blackberry, black cherry, and plum. Wines present an everlasting magnificence.

But a fast sip south to Uruguay and also you’ll discover Tannat sporting a extra laid- again, inventive model. Deliberately blended with a wide range of grapes to melt up its staunch construction, it’s commonplace to seek out Uruguay’s Tannat married to Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Syrah within the bottle, the place smooth, synergistic fruit flavors assist tame Tannat’s excessive octane tannins. Due to French immigrants bringing their hometown grapes to Uruguay within the late 1800s, Tannat vines have been readily cultivated and have since turn into the nation’s dominant grape selection, enthusiastically representing properly over a 3rd of the nation’s plantings.


cassoulet at criq by Phillip Capper
Cassoulet with its wealthy, meaty flavors will assist quell Tannat’s rigorous tannins. by Phillip Capper

Tannat Meals Pairing Suggestions

Given the tightly-wound tannins, Tannat begs for meals that brings the hearty duo of excessive protein and excessive fats to the desk. Why? The fat and proteins soften the extreme gripping high quality of excessive tannins. The blissful pairings of beef, sausage, cassoulet, roasted lamb, duck confit, and various aged cheese (attain for Roquefort or Chaumes) will gladly serve to melt the tannins and amplify the wealthy vibe of the meals itself.


Polyphenol Content in red wines Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Sagrantino
Tannat has excessive antioxidants! Nevertheless, this makes bitter and astringent wines with out particular ability.

Winemaker Secrets and techniques to Tannat Wine

Winemakers love Tannat as a result of its thick skins make it:

  1. comparatively simple to develop in a wide range of local weather circumstances (particularly dry)
  2. much less prone to be attacked by winery pests, fungus and mildew
  3. much less prone to chilly temperature variations and the dreaded frost

In fact, it may be difficult to handle within the cellar as a result of it’s such a giant wine! The grape itself showcases additional thick skins and excessive seed counts (usually 5 seeds per grape as an alternative of the usual 2–three). These attributes contribute to sturdy polyphenol compounds within the wine.

Right here’s what to search for within the winemaker’s notes to seek out easy, velvety Tannat wines:

  • Oak barrel ageing – whereas oak introduces wooden tannins, it additionally permits a gentle entrance of oxygen to the wine, which helps the wine style smoother.
  • Micro-oxygenation – (aka “microOX” or and “microbullage” in French) – is the method of
    introducing teeny, tiny quantities of oxygen throughout the winemaking course of to melt the
    overbearing construction and make the wines extra approachable at a youthful age.
  • Prolonged ageing – one of many perks of ageing a wine that’s constructed to age (i.e. carries excessive tannins and
    excessive acidity) is that over time, the wine’s tannins will break down and soften on their very own.


Tannat – Elevated Polyphenolic Compounds research
Position of Polyphenols in Illness Prevention Research


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By Stacy Slinkard
After a six 12 months stint within the brewing business, Stacy realized her palate most popular grapes over grains. As we speak, she is a wine author, educator and sommelier. @stacyslinkard