Learn about Tannat — taste profile, popular regions and more …
A brooding, rustic and dark red variety originating from the Madiran region in Southwest, France, Tannat is named for its naturally high level of tannins.
Tannat vines ended up in the hands of Basque settlers who are responsible for bringing the variety to Uruguay in the early 19th century—similar to Malbec’s journey to Argentina, which actually happened after Tannat’s trans-Atlantic journey, and by a Frenchman. Today the grape has become much more important in Uruguay, where it thrives in its warmer South American climate, making a wine still deep in color and bold in tannins but with riper, more forward fruit complemented by sweet autumn spice and roasting coffee aromas. Producers have more freedom here to blend the firm Tannat with softer varieties like Pinot Noir or Merlot.
Tasting Notes for Tannat
Tannat is a dry red wine high in tannins and full in body. Rustic and brambly, it is known for its dark fruit notes of black currant, blackberry jam, and plum, as well as licorice, menthol, and bitter chocolate.
Perfect Food Pairings for Tannat
Due to the astringent quality of its tannins, Tannat pairs extremely well with rich and high-fatty foods, like cassoulet, BBQ steaks, venison, and a variety of cheeses, from Roquefort to Tallegio.
Sommelier Secrets for Tannat
From its home in Madiran, Tannat produces bold, inky and granular wines, concentrated in black and blue fruit with aromas of wet earth, dried herbs and graphite. They’re often composed of 100% Tannat but the law allows no less than 60%; the remainder of the blend can include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and an indigenous grape called, Fer.
- Cabernet Sauvignon178
- Pinot Noir131
- Bordeaux Red Blends48
- Other Red Blends34
- Rhône Blends15
- Petite Sirah7
- Cabernet Franc5
- Nero d'Avola2
- Other Red Wine2
- Tuscan Blends2
- St. Laurent1