Owing to the screen size of your device, you may obtain a better viewing experience by rotating your device a quarter-turn (to get the so-called “panorama” screen view).
owlcroft logo
An Owlcroft Company web site
Click here to email us.
This is…

That Useful Wine Site

Search, or just roll your cursor over the colored boxes farther below.
Advertisements appear before actual Search results;
click the “x” to dismiss Search-results block.

  Advertisement:


  Site navigation:

  Advertisement:


  Site navigation:

The Tannat Grape


Quick page jumps:


About Tannat

(Synonyms: Bordelez Belcha, Harriague, Madiran, Moustrou, Moustroun, Tanat)

Background

Map showing the Madiran wine region of France

Tannat is a red-wine grape originating in the Madiran region of France, but now important as grown in Uruguay, where it is that nation's signature wine grape; in its home region, it continues to be grown, but those wines are not generally major players on the international scene. Tannat is generally considered one of the dozen and a half or so of world-class red-wine grapes. Other regions are beginning to experiment with Tannat, both in South America and in the U.S., but Uruguay remains the chief source. In the U.S., Texas is emerging as a hotbed of Tannat activity, and Virginia is showing some stirrings, too; California, of course, also has entries.

The very name of the grape means “tannin”, and the wines are typically very dark and, yes, tannic (owing mainly to the unusually thick skins and high seed count of Tannat grapes). When made in the Madiran, Tannat is commonly blended with other wines to soften its tannic astringency. More recently, vintners there have experimented with using more oak for softening, and more recently yet, with “micro-oxygenation”, the use of oxygen aeration during the fermentation process. Another change in the Madiran has been the replacement of older Tannat vines with newer clones that are intended to be more appealing on the international scene, meaning that they produce softer wines of higher alcohol content. Meanwhile, the Uruguayan vines are still mostly the older, original clones brought over from France, so we have the ironic situation of the New World plantings being the older, more traditional clones while the Old World plantings are less distinctively varietal and more “internationalized” (read “less characterful”).

The Uruguayan climate also seems especially favorable to the Tannat vine, which ripens better and, though of the older clones, produces wines more accessible than the monsters old Madiran bottlings tended to be. Nevertheless, “progress” (meaning saleability) is hard to resist, and many Uruguayan vintners are now planting the newer Madiran clones to better appeal to mass international tastes. It is thus helpful, with Uruguayan Tannats, to know whether the winemaker is using older or newer vines.

In general, Tannat wines typically taste of dark red fruit, raspberry usually being mentioned in descriptions, though blueberry is also cited, especially for the Uruguayan types.

Owing to its high tannin levels, Tannat is sometimes touted (even above red wines in general) for supposed health benefits, the longevity of Madiran residents occasionally being cited in “evidence”. It is less clear what reliable medical sources believe.

Factoid: Tannat is associated with the Madiran region of France, but may actually have arisen in the Basque country just the other side of the Pyrenees Mountains from Madiran.

Return to the page top. ↑


Some Descriptions of Tannat Wines

Return to the page top. ↑


Some Tannats to Try

(About this list.)

Garzón “Reserva” Tannat
(This is not their basic Tannat bottling—that is included here farther below—nor their single-vineyard bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Artesana Tannat
(This is neither any of their Tannat blends, nor their “Reserva” or their “Sin Barrica” bottlings: just their basic Tannat.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bodega Garzón Tannat
(This is not their “Reserva” or “Single-Vineyard” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Famille Laplace “Laplace” Madiran
(This is typically blended with 10% to 25% Cab Franc. Do not mistake it for any of their Chateau L’Aydie bottlings.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Don Rodolfo Tannat
(Sometimes labelled “Art of the Andes” and sometimes “Viña Cornejo Costas ”)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

Return to the page top. ↑


For a Splurge

We found no Tannat better enough than those listed above to justify a “splurge” price.

Return to the page top. ↑



  Advertisement:


  

  Advertisement:


  



Disclaimers  |  Privacy Policy

owl logo This site is one of The Owlcroft Company family of web sites. Please click on the link (or the owl) to see a menu of our other diverse user-friendly, helpful sites. Pair Networks logo Like all our sites, this one is hosted at the highly regarded Pair Networks, whom we strongly recommend. We invite you to click on the Pair link or logo for more information on hosting by a first-class service.
(Note: All Owlcroft systems run on Ubuntu Linux and we heartily recommend it to everyone—click on the link for more information).

All content copyright © 2020 The Owlcroft Company
(excepting quoted material, which is believed to be Fair Use).

This web page is strictly compliant with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML) Protocol v1.0 (Transitional) and the W3C Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Protocol v3 — because we care about interoperability. Click on the logos below to test us!



This page was last modified on Saturday, 18 January 2020, at 1:24 am Pacific Time.