Uruguay Tannat Virtual Tasting

Just over a year ago, I participated in a virtual tasting of several wines from Uruguay. The tasting was meant to showcase the various wines and styles that Uruguay had to offer. It was easily one of my favorite tastings of last year.

Just over a month ago I participated in another tasting of wines from Uruguay. This time the tasting focused on Uruguay’s signature grape: Tannat.

As a fan of the wines coming out of Uruguay, and of Tannat in general, it was a chance I couldn’t pass up.

First planted in Uruguay in the late 19th century (around 1870), Tannat has grown to become the signature grape of the country, though other varietals such as Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc ,Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese (just to name a few) are coming into their own.

The Wines

2022 Bodega Garzon Reserva Tannat

Variety: 100% Tannat

We kicked off the tasting with a winner. The wine was deep purple in color, and I got aromas of black fruit and stone/granite. In the mouth the wine was balanced and smooth (probably owing to the 6-12 months the wine spends in untoasted French oak casks), with flavors of boysenberry being most prominent. At $18 (SRP) this is a great value wine that’s easily drinking like a wine at twice that price point.

2018 Alto de la Bellena Tannat Viognier

Variety: 85% Tannat; 15% Viognier

This was an interesting one. The idea of mixing in Viognier grapes with the Tannat piqued my curiosity, and it certainly paid off. In the glass the wine was an intense violet red color. On the nose I picked up aromas of red fruits and hint of coconut. The wine was light in the mouth, with a medium body and tart notes of red fruit and some hints of wild flower. This one was a little bit more, $26 (SRP), but it’s still a good value.

2020 Cerro del Toro Tannat

Variety: 100% Tannat

A deep ruby to garnet red in the glass, the Cerro de Toro showed aromas of violets, fruit, and plum. In the mouth the wine has a balanced acidity, with persistent, but well structured soft tannins. The 2020 Cerro del Toro Tannat was unoaked, but did undergo malolactic fermentation. It retails for around $25 (SRP) and I think would be a good late Spring to early Summer red option because of the lighter body.

2020 Pisano RPF Tannat

Variety: 100% Tannat

Back to an aged Tannat (this one spends 10-12 months in French oak barrels), the Pisano was an intense garnet/ruby color in the glass (which, if you’re paying attention, is typical of Tannat). On the nose I got ripe red fruits and a touch of baking spices as the wine opened up. In the mouth the win was tart, balanced, and bright, with flavors of raspberry leading the way before giving over to a dry, but concentrated finish. I ended up pairing this with some Mexican food, but it would go well with pasta as well thanks to the dry finish just begging for something saucy. And, at $24 (SRP), it’s at a good price for date night or just dinner with friends.

Vermut Flores Rose’ NV

Variety: Tannat

Ok, I’ll confess that this was a part of the previous Uruguay tasting that I’d done, but I just really like this wine. A beautiful deep pink color, with aromas of chamomile and dried herbs. In the mouth the wine is complex, with Chinese spices giving way to a bitterness at the finish that I personally love. This is perfect served chilled over ice, topped with some tonic or soda water and a slice of lemon (my preferred way of enjoying it) and is a great way to start, or end, an evening. At $19 (SRP) it’s also a good bottle to keep in the fridge as we head into the warmer months–I’m certainly looking to get some shipped to my house for evenings on the patio as the temperature climbs.

About George Perry 896 Articles
A wine lover for as long as I can remember, I hope that my thoughts on wine can help others to make decisions on what they should drink as well.

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