With the advent of Malbec came alternatives to Cabernet Sauvignon. Not all could afford a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, and so the Malbec provided for an affordable alternative. And now wine connoisseurs have more reasons to be merry with the entry of Tannat wine. This wine is another cheaper alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon. With its roots tracing back to Madiran in France, Tannat wines are the next Malbec. With that said, let’s take a more in-depth look into this wine.
Tannat first debuted on the Top 100 Wines of the Year list by Wine Spectator in the year 2017. The Bodega Garzon 2015 Tannat that hails from Uruguay ranked at #41. It has been said to be among the healthiest of red wine grapes as it has a high level of antioxidants. It is also of great value with a bottle going for $15-$30. There are basically two types of Tannat wine: French Tannat and Uruguayan Tannat. Let’s take a look at the two kinds of Tannat.
The Tannat grape is unpredictable with its taste mostly dependent on the place where it is grown. French Tannat readily embraces the red fruit flavors that are raspberry, while its tannins are tighter and gripping. The Madiran Tannat, being a big wine with a searing acidity, is mostly blended with Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon to reduce the astringency. Additionally, the French law states that wines with the label ‘Madiran AOC’ should have at least 60% Tannat in them. As such, most winemakers prefer to have it at 100%.
Uruguayan Tannat is a tad different from French Tanat. For one, it is a blend of different grapes to soften it up. As such, it is mostly blended with Syrah, Pinot Noir or Merlot. The fruit flavors in these wines help reduce the octane tannins in the Tanat. Also, this Tannat embraces black fruits such as plum, black cherry, and blackberry. All this makes for a more laid-back wine.
When pairing Tannat with food, go for food that is high in fat and protein. This is because proteins and fats help to soften the gripping nature of tannins. For that reason, pairing it with beef, roasted lamb, sausage, duck confit and cassoulet will help lighten these tannins and bring out the rich vibe in the food itself.
So if you are looking for a wine that has a wide range of fruit tastes and that does not demand that you break the bank, then the Tannat wine is the ideal wine for you. And with vine clones being developed, this wine will keep on improving.