Tannat originally from Cahors, France is a dark, highly tannic red grape variety that has been recently “tamed” by micro oxygenation.
Most of the tannat in Cahors is blended into other red wines of the region for colour and backbone.
This variety is also grown in Madiran, southwestern France. The majority of North American wine enthusiasts never heard of it, until this “obscure” variety arrived in Argentina. Settlers from southwestern France brought it with them.
Tannat offers floral aromatic, liquorice, and blackberry flavours, depth and tannins.
This grape is the most widely planted variety in Uruguay and yields, if and when, micro oxygenation technology is employed, reds that can be enjoyed after two or three years, and with appropriate foods.
Now, American wineries are using tannat for quite interesting wines (Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, a French – American inspired establishment), and several wineries in Argentina.
Madiran still produces the most inspired tannat wines from truly old wines.