Tannat shines in these 5 wines

March 4
Recommendations

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Inclusion of two award-winning tannats in this year’s Virginia Governor’s Cup Governor’s Case suggests that the grape has a great future in the state, where vintners started planting it because tannat’s strong tannins and deep red color could add heft to Virginia wines. Tannat is traditionally from Madiran, in southwestern France, and is also prominent in South America, where it yields pleasant reds from Uruguay and Brazil.

Fabbioli Cellars Tannat 2011

★★★

Virginia, $40

Vintner Doug Fabbioli overcame the rain-drenched 2011 harvest and produced this delicious tannat worthy of the Governor’s Case. Rich and tannic. Alcohol by volume: 13.9 percent.

Global Wines in the District and Virginia: For now, available only at the winery.

Horton Vineyards Tannat 2010

★★★

Virginia, $25

From a hot, ripe vintage, Horton’s 2010 tannat has firm structure, rich berry fruit and nice depth to serve it well as it ages for several years. ABV: 13.5 percent.

DOPS in the District and Maryland, Service in Virginia: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Virginia at the Bottle Stop in Occoquan and at the winery.

Bodegas Carrau Tannat de Reserva 2010

★★

Las Violetas, Uruguay, $14

This wine shows tannat’s strength with rugged, earthy tannins and firm structure, softened by blackberry fruit flavors and some aromas. It’s a nice partner for casual beef dishes. Bodegas Carrau makes a delicious sauvignon blanc as well. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Downey Selections: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street). Available in Virginia at Cheesetique in Alexandria, Crystal City Wine Shop (both locations), Whole Foods Market (Arlington, Fair Lakes, Reston).

Salton Classic Tannat 2011

★★

Brazil, $13

Brazil is beginning to export wines that could compete for shelf space in the “South America” section at our neighborhood wine stores. This tannat from Salton is a nice introduction to the grape. Packed with dark-fruit flavors. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Metro Cellars in the District, RNDC in Maryland: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Cranbrook Liquors in Cockeysville; Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium; Quarry Wine & Spirits, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Underground in Baltimore; Ridgely Wines & Spirits in Lutherville, Total Wine & More (Laurel, Towson).

Bodegas Castillo Viejo CataMayor Reserva Tannat 2008

1 / 2

San Jose, Uruguay, $15

This wine has good posture, meaning it stands straight and true, rooted with earthy tannins supporting dark-fruit flavors. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Republic National: Available in the District at Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Tenleytown); on the list at Bandolero and 11th House Wine Bar.

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