Tannat Day with Uruguay Wine

Celebrate #TannatDay with Uruguay Wines
In the US, we’re well acquainted with wines from Chile and Argentina, but Uruguay is probably less familiar. Let’s change that! Next time you’re visiting a wine shop, ask if they have any wines from Uruguay and if they do give them a try.

Uruguay vineyards benefit from the moderating influence of the Atlantic ocean. map courtesy of http://www.southamericawineguide.com

Uruguay and Wine
Located in South America south of Brazil and east of Argentina, Uruguay is unique and different. Wine grapes grow at latitudes between 30-50 deg. north and south. Regions near 30 degrees latitude need to find some cooling influence to mitigate the bright solar energy they receive. Argentina does this with altitude, with vineyards located in the foothills of the Andes. Uruguay is situated at much lower altitude, but they have the benefit of cool waters and breezes from the Atlantic ocean, and the majority of vineyards are located where this cooling Atlantic influence is felt. The Atlantic also bring sufficient rain that irrigation is typically not required.

Settlers from Europe brought their vines with them and found that Tannat vines thrived in this climate, even though it’s quite different from its original home in Southwest France. In Uruguay, Tannat takes a softer character. It still produces a bold, flavorful deep red wine, but its tannins are tamed only a year or two after the vintage. Tannat’s cousins in France can take much longer to find that softening.

If this has piqued your interest in Uruguay Wine, there is much more to see at South America Wine Guide and Uruguay Wine!

Disclosure: Wine for this post was provided by Uruguay Wine as a sample, no other compensation was involved. All opinions expressed are mine.

Bodega Garzon Single Vineyard Tannat 2018

Bodega Garzón
Bodega Garzón is more than just a leading winery and vineyard location, they are a world class destination. The winery was awarded 2018 New World Winery of the year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. They offer a whole host of tourism programs including tours, cooking experiences, hiking and wine blending experiences. Sounds like fun!

Bodega Garzón Single Vineyard Tannat 2018 (sample $29 online here) 13.5% abv
Eye: deep purple
Nose: pronounced aromas of violets, ripe blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, dried herbs, thyme, oregano, vanilla and hints of smoke.
Mouth: Dry, medium plus acidity, high sandy tannins, full body, medium alcohol, pronounced flavor intensity and a medium plus finish. Flavors mirror the nose with prominent ripe blue and black fruit, floral and dried herbs, vanilla is there but well controlled.
Observations: This wine shows international style forward fruit, but it is not at all afraid to show firm structure with medium plus acidity and high, firm tannins. Enjoyable now, I would love to see this wine with some age as those tannins will soften and the abundant fruit will gain additional dried fruit and earthy character. A very good effort!

(click on any photo below to view full size slide show)

Bodega Garzon Tannat with Ribeye Steak, Chimichurri Sauce and Veggies a la Plancha
Francis Mallmann is something of a cooking hero of mine, given our mutual love of fire. I didn’t realize it while planning our meal to pair with the Tannat, but Francis is the consulting chef at Bodega Garzón. I used a couple recipes from his Seven Fires cookbook, grilling ribeye steaks with chimichurri sauce and burnt tomato halves. This was a perfect combination with our Bodega Garzón Tannat, with the bright herbs of the chimichurri, the rich steak and charred veggies providing intense flavors to match up with the bold red wine.

Another Great Tannat Pairing – Lamb!

Lamb al Asador
I had many suggestions to pair lamb with our Tannat. I love lamb and wouldn’t it be fun to invite a bunch of friends over like our Maundy Thursday meal a church a few years ago. Except I’d need a bit more wine!

One Response to “Tannat Day with Uruguay Wine”
  1. Lisa Denning says:

    Wow Jeff, this all looks fabulous. I’ll bet Tannat made a great pairing with it too!

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