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.
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.