Tannat originally hails from France, grown mostly in Madiran. The wine it produces is always tannic and often primitive. The grape is also widely planted widely in South America, with Uruguay at the epicenter. The results there are mixed, as well.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some exceptional Madirans, Chateau Bouscasse for one. And I am always looking for a good example of the grape from South America as well: I was the consultant for The Wharton School on a pilot project on importing Tannat from Uruguay.
I think I finally found it in Argentina. This bottling comes from Susana Balbo’s value line of wines called Crios. The grapes are grown in the high altitude vineyards of Cafayate.
A brooding dark wine with aromas of roasted fig and espresso. Notes of dark fruit and sweet vanilla rest atop sauvage tannins and crushed flowers. A good dose of freshness keeps it all trim and clean. Very well done.