Wine Information & Reviews | Vino Critic

Pronunciation: tahn-naht Notorious for powerful tannins and unmistakable astringency, Tannat is a bold, unapologetic red wine. After years of successful cultivation in the Basque region, French immigrants brought Tannat to Uruguay in the 1800’s. Tannat quickly became a force in the vineyards of Uruguay. Since then, Tannat has remained strongly rooted in the country’s viticulture industry. Tannat is beloved for its big personality in both Uruguay and France. Because of its intense qualities, Tannat is often blended with other grapes to tame the bold tannins and reduce astringency. Conversely, many winemakers lean into the intensity and choose to make single varietal Tannat. Because of its highly tannic nature, winemakers developed a technique called “micro oxygenation” to soften the wines. During this process, small amounts of oxygen are introduced to fermenting wine; the resulting product is softer and more approachable. This process is also believed to stabilize the wines, allowing for elevated aging potential. Cellared Tannat is highly complex and is known to take on subtly sweet and rich flavors. Tannat is characteristically deep in color, ranging from red to purple hues. This bold, flavorful wine is unsurprisingly fairly in alcohol content. Tannat is commonly full bodied, but can be found in medium bodied variations. Rosé made from Tannat is a full bodied and smooth expression of this grape. Bordelesa Beltza is the Basque word for Tannat. Other names for Tannat include Harriague, Madiran, Moustroun, Bordelais Noir.

Tannat Tasting Notes

Primary Notes: Plum, black currant, raspberry Secondary Notes: annise, smoke, cardamom, licorice Tertiary Notes: leather, espresso, dark chocolate Body – Medium to Full Finish – Highly tannins, medium high acidity Typical ABV – 13-15.5%

Tannat Styles

French Tannat tends to be highly structured, with strong tannins and aromas of red berries. Wine from the Madrian AOC is required to be at least 60% Tannat. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Fer can be blended with Tannat in Madiran. These wines are commonly aged up to 20 months in oak. Tannat from Uruguay is often described as elegant and soft. It tends to be slightly softer in tannin and lighter in body. Black fruit flavors such as blackberry and black currant are often prominent in Tannat from Uruguay. Because of its powerful tannins, Tannat is often blended with Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir.

Tannat Classifications

France: Madiran AOC, Irouléguy AOC, Béarn AOC, Tursan AOC Uruguay: Canelones VCP, Montevideo VCP

When To Drink Tannat

Tannat is destined for decadence. The highly structured nature of this wine is perfect for rich, fatty foods. Tannat’s famous astringency balances out these qualities, creating a satisfying and harmonious meal. The richer the better; Tannat is so bold and flavorful that it can hold its own against extreme flavors and textures. Tannat pairs well with highly flavored foods like Roquefort cheese, duck confit and grilled lamb. For more casual occasions, Tannat could be a favorable choice for a barbeque. The slightly smokiness and savory spices are perfect complements to grilled meats and robust vegetables. Tannat Serving Temperature – Fahrenheit and Celsius 60-68ºF (17-20 ºC)

Best Years To Drink Tannat

Some French Tannat ages beautifully; bottles can be cellared for 10+ years. As Tannat ages, it develops more complexity and takes on a faint sweetness. For a more casual, everyday wine, look for a Tannat from Uruguay. These wines are typically intended to be consumed within a few years.

Tannat Nutrition Facts

Tannat is dry, and high in alcohol. A 6oz glass contains between 165-195 calories.

Fun Facts About Tannat

Tannat contains exceptionally high levels of antioxidants (polyphenols). Most other grape varieties contain 2-3 seeds each, while Tannat contains about 5. Tannat grapes also have very thick skins; they tolerate dry climates, can survive frost, and are more resistant to fungus and pests. The name “Tannat” is an ode to the tannic nature of this varietal. It was originally named Harriague, after the viticulturist who pioneered cultivation in the Basque region of France.
Tannat vs Malbec
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Similarities of Tannat & Malbec Tannat and Malbec are both red grape varietals that remain relatively underappreciated in their home countries of France while enjoying great success in the more extreme climates of South America.  Both of these wines are … Read More