2009 Oak Works Tannat

Tannat has a challenging reputation as the most tannic of wine grape varieties, having two to four times the antioxidant of most other varieties according to scientific analysis. Its thick skins are also high in polyphenols, flavonoids and a more than average resveratrol concentration, all of which give red wines their health benefits. Who needs vitamins and minerals when they are here in this red wine diet

Ask the people of the Gers département in south-west France whose health and longevity appears to be related to its consumption despite a diet rich in cassoulet, duck confit, foie gras and local cheeses.

One of Tannat's synonyms is Madiran, which is also the name of its most famous appellation in south-west France's Basque mountain country. The variety arrived in Uruguay with Basque-French immigrants in the late 19th century and is now considered that country's signature grape much in the same vein Argentina has adopted Malbec and Chile with Carmenere.   

Beautiful violet florals, black pepper, smokey tar and blackberries announce the presence of a glass-staining, intensely purple coloured wine tinged with a light red rim.

Palate is black licorice, dry, intense and tightly structured with a polished leather texture. Vanilla and cocoa there after the 18 months in French oak. Well-balanced, complex and fruity, black fruits. Think Merlot on steroids and some extra weight and you get a picture of this expressive beast.

Grainy tannins and distinct acid flow to a generous, savoury finish and aftertaste. To be enjoyed, this big red needs to be drunk with beef or lamb dishes, it's tough going by itself. Tannins are ubiquitous but not outrageous. Assuredly, they'll be around into the next decade.

The 2009 Oak Works Tannat has aged gracefully if that can be said in the same breath as the formidable personality of this full-bodied, robust wine. A metaphysical experience.

Source: Sample. ABV: 14.5%. Closure: Cork. Price: $20.00. Rating: 90 Points.

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