Dos Minas Tannat 2016
Only 1,000 cases are made of the Torrontes, and only 1,500 cases of the Malbec. The vines for the Malbec are an average of 15 years old, and the Torrontes has grapes from 65-year old vines trained in the pergola system.
Home to some of Argentina’s best Torrontes, the Cafayate Valley’s rugged, high-altitude vineyards are part of the Calchaquies Valley in northwestern Argentina. Here, this Argentine white variety is able to achieve optimal ripeness while maintaining a higher than average acidity; its wines are typically full-bodied, dry to off-dry and alluringly aromatic.
In the Cafayate Valley, summers are warm and while most rainfall happens in these months, it isn’t enough to supply to the vineyards with enough water for the entire year. Snowmelt provides a fresh water source for irrigation in these arid and extreme conditionss.
A brooding, rustic and dark red originating from the Madiran region in Southwest, France, Tannat is named for its naturally high level of tannins.
The 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.
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.
Try Tannat with a big juicy steak, a rich Pasta Bolognese or any strong cheese.