SUBSCRIBE!

If you would like to be notified of new posts please enter your email address

FBFPowered by ®Google Feedburner

Travel Spots

Previous Posts

Time for Tannat – Uruguay First!

A grape variety many may not have heard of is Tannat, although it seems to be making a bit of a push of late as I have seen it mentioned or featured in several articles over recent months.  The grape is traditionally from the Madiran AOC in southwest France, in Gascony.  There is a reason the grape name sounds a lot like the word tannin, as it is a thick skinned and extremely tannic grape.  In France it makes wines that are high in alcohol, very tannic and which can age well.   In other parts of the world the grape has also taken hold, such as  in Uruguay and Argentina, and there it tends to be somewhat less tannic and produces softer wines.

We’re going to do a little series on various Tannats over the next few weeks, and we’ll start with one from Uruguay.  This wine is not huge, but you can definitely get the tannins immediately as they come across the tip of your tongue.   We also have a bottle from Argentina, one from Michael David in Lodi, and we’re still working on getting an original from Madiran.  It should be interesting to compare and contrast.  Here’s the first:

IMG_0006Wine:  2010 Bodegas Carrau Tannat de Reserva                                                  

Winery Location:   Las Violetes, Uruguay

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                             Date:    March 2014

Tasting Notes:     – Tannat is a prominent grape in Uruguay, and their versions tend to be on the lighter side.  This wine is no exception.  The grapes are hand picked, and the wine goes through a fifteen day maceration.  It is aged in new French oak for 18 months, and then an additional 12 months in the bottle.  The producers should know what they’re doing as they come from a 250+ year wine making tradition starting in Catalunya, Spain in 1752.  The family moved to Uruguay to start a new enterprise.

This juice is a deep purple tinged ruby red.  The nose is really restrained.  There seemed to be some plum and red fruit.  Maybe there is some rasberry, which is a traditional aroma/flavor from Tannat, but with such a restrained nose I may have just been looking too hard for it.  There were also some savory notes present.  On the palate the wine is dry with medium acid.  It is tannic, and those tannins hit the tip of your tongue early.  There is very little tannin at the back end.  So the grape tannins are coming through but there’s not so much from the oak.  The fruit is restrained just like the aroma profile.  While it lists the alcohol at 12.5% it feels higher.  Medium bodied it has some length, but it is not a big wine by any means.  I would term it good.  In some ways it reminded me of the Sagrantino we reviewed a few weeks ago, just on a lower profile with lower acid, alcohol and tannin, but the same kind of balance, if that makes any sense.  This wine is interesting, but it is nothing to write home about.

Price Point –   $12

Would We Buy It?  – I would keep a bottle of this around to share with friends as something different and interesting.  It is perfectly acceptable as an everyday kind of wine, although the unusual tannic quality might not be appealing to some.  Overall it’s pretty good, but it doesn’t make the value list.  You can find this at The Savory Grape in East Greenwich, RI.

The first of the Tannats is good but not great.  It’s also less tannic than I expected based on the grape’s reputation.  I’m thinking the Michael David Inkblot is going to make up for that.  Maybe we’ll open that one next.  If you’ve never had one, this particular bottle is not a bad place to start.

A votre sante!

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>