Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Marichal Tannat

Over the years I have tried some interesting wines, with names I had never heard before. Tannat, for example. This is a french grape whose name translated means “tannin,” which is the taste you get from a grape’s seeds, stem and skin. As I have found, making wines of my own, there’s a lot more to making wine than just fermenting juice! Red wine, for example, starts out as clear grape juice; it’s the contact with a grape’s skins for a period of time which imparts color and, in turn, tannin.

In France, particularly the colder northern parts, Tannat tastes too harsh to make palatable wine. It is usually blended with other grapes to lessen the astringency. But in Uraguay, the grape is mellower and bold, and tastes more like Malbec to me. Tannat is actually the official grape of Uruguay, which provides the perfect mix of terroir: windy, humid, oceanic, cool compared to further north in the continent, but warm enough to ripen it beautifully.

The 2014 Marichal Tannat is a juicy treat. I tasted raspberry and blueberry fruit, solid earthy flavors, with an herbal finish. This is a medium-bodied red, not as bold as some of the bigger Malbecs in nearby Argentina, but tasty and worth a try if for nothing else than to say “Hey, I tried this cool wine from Uraguay!”

On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, I give the 2014 Marichal Tannat 3.25 corks! It’s an exotic bargain for $13.99 at The Party Source.

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at The Party Source! I host a wine dinner there every month with sommelier and wine manager Steve Tartaglia, and we feature several interesting wines, paired with a delicious catered dinner from Kate’s Catering and Personal Chef Services. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!

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