A little less known than other red wines, Tannat has a history linked to a tiny village in South West France called Madiran. It’s a strong and full bodied option which is sometimes likened to Malbec but it has a personality and flavour all of its own. Tannat is traditionally French as mentioned, but there are newer offerings, especially from Uruguay, which are becoming increasingly popular.
The Flavour of Tannat
Tannat has a rich fruity flavour, with red and black fruit blending beautifully in good offerings. It also has the tang and depth of black liquorice with coffee notes, some vanilla and even a touch of fragrant cardamom and similar spices. Wines which have had more oak aging will have a spicier flavour. Some Tannats are rich in tannins while others can be lighter too.
French Tannat vs Uruguayan Tannat
As you’d expect the flavours of French and Uruguayan Tannat differ due to the different in climate, soil and production methods. Traditional French Tannat from around Madiran typically has a stronger red fruit flavour with rich, powerful tannins and raspberry flavours coming through particularly strong.
As a newer and with more inventiveness possible due to less stringent AOC requirements, Uruguayan Tannat wines are softer and less stringently tannic. Elegant black fruits dominate the flavour with blackberry, cherries and plums often easy to pick out. Creativity and playfulness stand out as characteristics of Uruguayan Tannat.
At The Fine Wine Company we have a range of different Tannat wines to choose from. Our Tannat wines include examples from Argentina, Italy and even Brazil. We also have examples of Uruguayan Tannat and traditional Madiran Tannat too.
Many Merlot lovers are now enjoying a Tannat or two as well as their favourite red and with the choice of different producers, flavours and regions, there may be a Tannat for you too.