Quick Sip: Tempering Tannat

Hello Friends,

Tannat has long been treated as a bit player in the game of wine, being used primarily as a blender in the Madiran region of southwest France where it traditionally produces very tannic and rustic wines that require extended cellaring. Enter Uruguay, a small country located on the southeastern coast of South America that has brought Tannat to the forefront as a varietal wine - tempering its rough edge and making a softer and more approachable style.

Winery at La Grange

In Virginia, there are small plantings of Tannat and a handful of producers are making a varietal wine out of the obscure red grape variety. One in particular, Chateau O'Brien Winery and Vineyard, is a leader in growing and producing Tannat - bottling both a Limited Reserve Tannat and a Late Harvest Tannat. These tasty treats will cost you cost $69 per bottle, but I’ve heard they are very delicious wines. A few other local producers making a varietal Tannat wine are: Fabbioli Cellars, Chrysalis, and Hillsborough.

2007 Tannat

On a recent trip to Winery at La Grange in Prince William County, I met up with wine friends to grill outdoors, sip wine, and enjoy the beautiful fall day. At the end of the day, the overall consensus was that everyone enjoyed the 2007 Tannat; therefore, it makes this week’s “Quick Sip.” The Winery at La Grange’s Tannat is on the fuller side of medium-bodied with dark fruit, black cherry, cedar, and spice aromas. On the palate the wine is balanced with moderate acidity, a nice mid-palate and rounded texture, a subtle tannic structure, and a medium-length spicy finish. The fruit for the Winery at La Grange’s 2007 Tannat was sourced from Honah Lee vineyard in Orange, Virginia. The finished wine is 100% Tannat, has a real cork enclosure, clocks in at 13.5% ABV, and retails for $26. Do you have a favorite Tannat wine from Virginia, Uruguay, Argentina, France, etc.? If so, please share your picks with us.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: Winery at La Grange, 4970 Antioch Road, Haymarket, Virginia 20169, T (703) 753-9360

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