Grape Variety
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Tannat is a red wine grape, historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC and is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay, where it is considered the "national grape".L. Luxner "" Wines & Vines Jan 1st, 2001 It is also grown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Peru, and in Italy's Puglia region where it is used as a blending grape. In the US state of Virginia, there are small experimental plantings of the vine, and plantings in California have increased dramatically in the first years of the 21st Century. Tannat wines produced in Uruguay are usually quite different in character from Madiran wines, being lighter in body and lower in tannin. It is also used to make Armagnac and full bodied rosé. In France, efforts to solve the harsh tannic nature of the grape lead to the development of the winemaking technique known as micro-oxygenation.


Tannat is normally found in the Basque-influenced regions of France near the Pyrénées. The wine is notable for its very high tannin levels and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc and Fer to soften the astringency and make it more approachable. In addition to Madiran, Tannat is also produced in Irouléguy, Tursan and Béarn. Modern winemaking in the region has begun to emphasize the fruit more and utilize oak aging to help soften the tannins.Oz Clarke Encyclopedia of Grapes pg 241...
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