Artesana Tannat Merlot Zinfandel 2017
Balanced, complex and elegant, with aromas and flavors of black fruit, blueberry jam and subtle floral notes reminiscent of violent on a background of cedar and toasted oak notes. It is a wine true to the vintage, region and to the people who make it.
Blend: 50% Tannat, 40% Merlot, 10%
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Black fruits, figs, herbs, mushrooms and some dark chocolate on the nose. It’s full-bodied with chewy tannins. Structured and flavorful with a grainy texture. A blend of 50% tannat, 40% merlot and 10% zinfandel. Drink or hold.
Artesana is a small production, single vineyard estate winery located in the acclaimed Canelones winegrowing region of Uruguay. Made with the highest quality estate-grown fruit, Artesana’s iconic wines showcase Uruguay’s distinctive terroir and its signature varietal Tannat.
Uruguay produces dynamic and award-winning wines of outstanding quality. Differing from Argentina and Chile, Uruguay is a country of smallscale, family-owned wineries with a European winemaking tradition. The coastal Atlantic climate is often compared to Bordeaux’s, producing wines with well-balanced levels of alcohol and acidity. Tannat, brought from France in the 1870s, produces rich, full-bodied red wines with dark fruit and spice aromas and flavors.
Artesana was developed in 2007 by American Blake Heinemann who recognized the unique character of Uruguay’s Tannat wines and thought others would be interested in discovering them as well. “Uruguay is an extraordinary country. When I first tasted the Tannat wines from the Canelones region I was struck by their richness. Uruguay is being recognized as a fine wine producer and deservedly so. There are excellent wines being made in Uruguay and Tannat is a very distinctive grape. It has an exotic spicy character that can be big and bold, yet elegant and complex.”
Artesana’s award-winning winemakers Analía Lazaneo and Valentina Gatti share the passion of handcrafting wines that express the unique terroir of Artesana’s Las Brujas vineyard. They have an intimate knowledge of the macro terroir of the Canelones region and the intricacies of the Tannat grape, and represent the next generation of Uruguayan winemakers.
Considered one of the most environmentally sustainable countries in the world, Uruguay is also the fourth largest wine producing country in South America. But in contrast to its neighbors (Chile, Argentina and even Brazil) Uruguay keeps more in step with its European progenitors where land small holdings are most common. Most Uruguayan farms are tiny (averaging only about five hectares) and family-run, many dating back multiple generations. At this size, growers either make small amounts of wine for local consumption or sell grapes to a nearby winery. In all of Uruguay there are close to 3,500 growers but fewer than 300 wineries.
On these small plots of land, manual tending and harvesting, as well as low yields are favored; this small agricultural country has never had a need for large-scale chemical fertilizers or insecticides. Their thriving meat industry also follows the same standards: hormones have been banned since 1968 and today all Uruguayan beef is organic and grass-fed.
Uruguay’s best vineyards are on the Atlantic coast, in Canelones and Maldonado (where cooling breezes lessen humidity) or found hugging its border with Argentina. With a climate similar to Bordeaux and soils clay-rich and calcareous, Uruguay is perfect for Tannat, a thick-skinned, red variety native to Southwest, France. A great Tannat from Uruguay will have no lack of rich red and black fruit, lots of sweet spice and a hefty structure. Sometimes winemakers blend Merlot or Pinot noir with Tannat to soften up its rough edges.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.