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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tannat Tuesday - Artesana Tannat 2011

Tannat Tuesday - Artesana Tannat 2011
Is the signature grape of Uruguay set for a breakthrough?

100% Tannat from Canelones, Uruguay.

SRP of $20 and available for as low as $17. Only 490 cases produced. Distributed by Epic Wines. Sample submitted for review.

From the bottle:
"Artesana is an ultra-premium boutique winery located in the acclaimed Canelones region of Uruguay. Tannat (originally from France) is the signature varietal of Uruguay and produces balanced, full-bodied wines with ripe fruit flavors and an exotic, spicy character.

Artesana's unique artisan wines are made from 100% estate-grown grapes and handcrafted by our two exceptional women winemakers. Wines are made in small lots fermented separately, aged for 12 months in the highest quality French and American oak, custom blended, and bottled without fining or filtration. Smooth and well-rounded, the rich palate of this Tannat bottling delivers a complex layering of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, smoky oak and spice, seamlessly nuanced in a long, generous finish.

15.0% Alcohol"
In a story that parallels the rise of Malbec, Tannat is a grape variety that while originally from France is little used there today except as a blend component. It has, however, found new life in South America, and specifically Uruguay. And while you probably haven't heard much about Tannat or wine from Uruguay, that is likely about to change.

Not only has Tannat the grape thrived in Uruguay, but the winemakers in the country have embraced it as their signature variety. While the best is likely yet to come, there are some excellent and exciting things happening right now and luckily much of it in our price range! Over the next few weeks we'll give you a little glimpse into this grape and this country and highlight a few wines to watch for.

So far the Tannat that we've sampled on the site has come from Argentina, and we found a couple excellent examples there:
Today we go to Canelones, Uruguay, in the hills north of the capital Montevideo where the majority of the country's wineries are found. With a climate similar to Bordeaux and a cooling breeze off the Atlantic, conditions are prime for growing grapes.

The 2011 Artesana Tannat begins with a very pleasant aroma featuring dark fruit, dark chocolate, floral notes and dried herbs. The wine tastes like the name seems to suggest -- quite tannic, but I like it. There's more dark fruit and dark chocolate plus a little licorice and some savory herbs. Tarry, black tea notes come to the front on the long, dry finish along with a hint of raisiny fruit underneath. Quite nice for lovers of big, tannin-driven wines.

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Taste Rating: 8              Cost Rating: 4
Overall Rating: 7.0




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