Monday, February 27, 2012

Atlántico Sur 2006 Single Vineyard Tannat

We usually celebrate Mardi Gras even though we are typically in the midst of a nasty Northwest Ohio winter. It started many years ago with a trip to New Orleans. We loved the vibe of the city, the people’s joie de vivre, the richness of the culture and the great music. (I’m a big Zydeco fan.) Since then we’ve typically hosted a Mardi Gras party.

This year it snuck up on us. I drove home from work sort of bummed that we didn’t have anything special planned.

All that changed when I walked inside the house. The sounds of Rockin’ Sidney performing Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot was blaring forth, the house was decked out with streamers and decorations in gold, green and purple and Green Dragon was cooking up some delicious red beans and rice.

She asked me to pick out a wine and I grabbed a bottle of 2006 Atlántico Sur 2006 Single Vineyard Tannat. We’ve enjoyed getting to know this national red grape from Uruguay. I thought it might be a great match with our Creole dish.

One thing I’ve learned is that there is a spectrum of quality for Tannat. The inexpensive Tannat doesn’t compare to the more elegant mid-range and premium bottles.

The Atlántico has a very smooth approach, showing just what winemakers can do with this grape. The tannins are very light and the alcohol is 13%. The mid-palate has delicate raspberry and blackberry chords. The medium-duration finish has a puckering berry flavor. We both enjoyed this wine but wished for a touch more body and complexity.

It’s a very enjoyable wine, probably the best Tannat I have had in my limited experience. This comes from the Paysandú Region in Uruguay which has a terrain of rolling hills with clay and loamy soils.

This wine has a single vineyard designation. It would have been nice to know the name of the vineyard, or perhaps in Uruguay they do not follow the American practice of naming specific vineyards.

Our trip to the “South Atlantic” was an enjoyable one. Could wines like this make Tannat the next Malbec? We encourage you to pick up a bottle and judge for yourself.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a sample.

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Leslie Fellows said...

Try the Artesana 2010 Tannat-Merlot ( Another great Uruguayan winery is Bouza. Also, excellent Tannat and Tannat blends. You are absolutely right about quality and price points with Uruguayan Tannat wines. Uruguayan wineries are generally too small to produce in mass quantity and therefore you have to spend a little more, but its well worth it.

Dave Nershi, CSW said...

Thanks, Leslie. We'll have to check out the Artesana and wines from Bouza. Thanks for the suggestion.