Tannat (tahn-naht) is a full-bodied red wine grape, historically grown in South West France of the Madiran AOC and is now the national grape of Uruguay. Tannat means “tanned” referencing the dark coloring of the grape and the wine.
Dominant flavors include Black Plum, Blackberry, Black Cherry, Licorice, Anise, Mocha, Dark Chocolate, Cardamon, Star Anise, Smoke and Espresso.
Tannat wine is powerfully rustic with red bramble fruits. The grape has the claim of being the healthiest red wine grape thanks to its high antioxidants levels; (Resveratrol) found in ANY red grape.
Winemakers consider the Tannat grape a bit of a chameleon because it shines differently depending on where it is grown. It’s one they love to experiment with!
WHERE TO FIND THE Tannant Grape
Traditionally, Madiran Tannat is a powerful wine, with outrageous tannins and searing acidity. The wine is deep in color and ages well. In this climate, the wine showcases stewed red fruit and tar. It is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc to ease its biting acidity. French law requires a minimum of 60 percent Tannat on wines labeled “Madiran AOC.” However, many regional winemakers maintain 100 percent because it is a great wine. Modern French Tannat maintains its firm tannins, deep color, and high alcohol.
In Southern Uruguay, Tannat has less power and is more balanced. Intentionally blended with a variety of grapes to soften up its aggressive structure. Uruguay’s Tannat can be blended with Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Syrah in the bottle, to soften, add fruit flavors, and to help tame its high amount of tannins. Over time the wine has been engineered to cater to the fruit-forward consumers. There are many different styles of Tannat in Uruguay. Wines range from aromatic to unoaked, tannic rich to light red fruit flavors.
Other names to look for when exploring Tannant wine
- Bordeleza Beltza
When is the Right Mood for Tannant Wine?
Dinner with In-
HOW TO ENJOY TanNANT WINE
TANNANT FOOD PAIRING
Tannat wine pairs best with dishes like Cassuloet, Tuscana Soup, Peking Duck, Pho, Bu Bun Hue, Beef Sausage, Steak, Duck Confit, Roquefort Cheese, Con Au Vin.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TANNANT WINE
Glassware: Tannant wine should be consumed in a large red wine glass.
Shelf life: Tannant has a long shelf life of up to 10 years.
Bottle prices: Average bottle costs is about $20.
Serving Tip: Tannant wine needs a lot of decanting to soften its intense tannins.
Tannant WINE RECOMMENDATIONS
Looking for Tannant recommendations? Here are a few suggested sips.
Carpe Travel collaborated with Maia Parish to compile the grape varietal overviews. Maia Parish is an award-winning events producer, sommelier, wine judge, and media consultant. She lives in Denver, Colorado and likes to eat copious amounts of food. You can find her here www.linktr.ee/thewinemistress.