Drink to Your Health with Uruguayan Tannats

The nice thing about having the Wine Bloggers Conference in Canada was not having to cross the border. We were free to bring home as many bottles as we wanted. So we brought some of the most heart-healthy wines in the world.

Leslie Fellows of Wines of Uruguay gave us six different tannats and we drank them over the month of June. Because I think the one glass a day wine your doctor might prescribe should have a counter life of at least a half week each wine was tasted over several days to prove its longevity.

Spreading them out, I found that each tannat changed from day to day in its own interesting way. They were a wild bunch.

Tannat Notes

Identity 2011 Edicion Limit, Gimenez Mendez 13.5%

Black with deep purple edges, thick legs, nose of ripe black fruit, plum, notes of flint, violets. Soft mouthfeel, heavy body, good intensity, supple tannins, plum, bold and youthful with good balance, long finish with zap of acidity, great with dark chocolate cookies.

Next day – still fresh, more earthy, spicy, peppery, barest hint of oxide.

Day 4 – still tastes ok.

Catamayor 2009 Reserva De La Familia (RPF), Bodegas Castillo Viejo 13.5%

Opaque with purple edges and thin legs, nose of cassis, savory herbs, meaty and asphalt. Smooth velvety mouth, black fruit, meaty, chewy, savory, plumy, sweet oak, good acidity, very approachable pillowy texture, well balanced and drinkable. Awesome with chicken and peppers as well as chocolate. Rather like an Argentine Malbec

Next day – still fresh and tasty.

6 tannats

Artesana 2011 Tannat, Canelones 15%

Opaque with purple edges and thick leggings, nose has super-ripe black fruit and plums, savory herbs, raisin syrup. Gigantic mouthfeel, spicy plums, mocha, soft acid, strong, grippy tannins, finishing with licorice and raisins. Great with chocolate. This wine made me sweat, and not just because I was watching Mad Men.

Next day – verging on liqueur, with tannins in foreground, oxide in background.

2 days later – holding firm, stiffer tannins, diminished fruit, graphite notes, not oxidized but elevated alcohol that felt like at least 15.5%. Blended it with 20% Nk’Mp Rosé to lighten it up and ended up passing out on the couch, missing 15 minutes of the Colbert Report, I was so intoxicated. Packs a punch, this.

Pisano 2008 RPF, Progreso, 13.5%

Opaque with rusty edges, nose of dried black fruit, sweet oak, briar, licorice, black pepper, savory herbs. Strong, grippy tannins, dry with a chalky texture, cassis, mid-palate rush of acidity. Long dry dusty finish. Good with chef salad.

Next day – still tasty.

tannat hand swirlStagnari 2008 Viejo Tannat

Opaque with rusty edges. Nose of warm plums and prunes. Lighter in body than all the rest with good acidity and mild, relaxed tannins, briar and spice, rustic, minerally, Rhone-y. Mature, almost over the hill, but very table friendly.  Long juicy finish.

Next day – quite improved. Bigger riper fruit, fuller body but thinner mid-palate, inky, desserty and sweeter. Almost a totally different wine.

Pisano 2005 Licor de Tannat EtXe Oneko, Progreso, 17.5%

Opaque with brown edges, hairy legs, and sediment. Nose has ripe plums, cassis, anise, and heat. Syrupy mouthfeel of burnt black fruit, nuts, licorace, spice, and raisins. Fortified tasting. Long hot sweet finish.

Awesome with chocolate.


Right now, the only Uruguayan tannat the Liquor Board Stores carry are Las Moras Reserve which is good, and Don Pascual Reserve. They used to carry the Pisano, but that might be found in private stores.

Maybe if Health Canada got involved, we’d see a broader range of healthy tannats on the shelves.

Anyone from WBC have a favourite tannat?

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Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Studio.com. Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.

2 thoughts on “Drink to Your Health with Uruguayan Tannats

  • July 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Mari, excellent tasting notes on all six of these wines, and so interesting to see how they held up over a few days. Thanks for all the attention you’ve brought to Uruguay and its signature variety Tannat. Tannat can be made in so many styles, and its diversity is one of the things that makes it so unique. It’s high tannin content makes it the healthiest of all red wines, with 3-4 times more antioxidants and an average resveratrol concentration of 4.2%. I certainly hope that I’ll be able to bring Artesana Tannats across the border one of these days soon!

    • August 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks, Leslie! I hope to see Artesana in our BC Liquor Stores soon. We are dying to have it!

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