Juanicó is the heart of the burgeoning wine industry in Uruguay. There are more Tannat vines planted there than any other place in the world.
Sipping Uruguay’s Signature Grape
A number of years ago I received several bottles of Tannat from Uruguay. We tasted through them a half decade ago, but one bottle lingered on: the Don Pascual 2010 Tannat.
Tannat is a thick-skinned grape that produces a rich and tannic red wine. It can age longer than wines than wines with less structure. Even so, this wine was nearing the end of it drinking window. Time to uncork!
This is not an expensive bottle of wine, retailing for less than $10. That combined with its age made me wonder what I’d find when the bottle was opened.
One of the things that always piqued my interest about this bottle was the label. The vintage date of 2010 clearly had been pasted over something else. Now was the time to find out.
The “2010” easily came off and underneath was “2009.” Either there was a bottling mistake, or new labels weren’t ready yet. Now that the wine was unmasked, it was time to uncork.
The initial aroma was off-putting, smelling a bit like swamp water. Once the wine was poured into the glass, thankfully, it was a different story. The wine is deep ruby in color and almost opaque. Swirling the wine reveals long legs on the side of the glass.
Sometimes Tannat can be too tannic, closed and lacking in nuance. With the Don Pascual, on the other hand, the tannins had mellowed and integrated nicely.
On the palate, the Don Pascual has notes of cocoa and tobacco with a medium-plus body. This is a satisfying bottle and a prime example of great values coming from South America wineries. Don Pascual is a smart choice for your introduction to Uruguay’s signature grape.