Attention adventurous wine drinkers looking for a truly exciting, unusual California red.
And sorry, Menage a Trois cranked out in large volume is clearly not in mind.
We are talking about a wine that is cutting edge.
The wine recently discovered at www.invino.com is…
2014 Y. Rousseau ‘Son of a Butcher’ Red, $15.99
It is made from Tannat blended with Merlot and Cabernet. The grapes came from hillside vineyards in Napa and Sonoma.
Not long ago, I met Yves Rousseau, the winemaker, at a tasting, sampled his wines, and was blown away by the quality and authenticity.
He also produces a varietal Tannat.
Q. What is Tannat, you ask?
A. It is a full-flavored red that is the pride of Madiran in Southwestern France and of every ( or so it seems) winery in Uruguay.
It is the “national pride” of Uruguay. Good to know if you are a trivia buff.
Randall G. at Bonny Doon has explored this unsung variety. Pine Ridge made several red blends named Onyx, and the 2002, 2003 relied heavily on Tannat.
And btw, both these older vintages were wonderful when I pulled the corks last year.
Akin Estates, a small winery in Lodi makes a Tannat and here’s what winemaker David Akin has to say:
Tannat, we say? Think of a black skinned grape that produces a red wine with the body and muscle of a Cabernet Sauvignon, but without the green herby, bell peppery qualities often associated with cabernets. Or a red wine with the zippy blackberry/raspberry fruitiness of a good Zinfandel, but without the raisiny sweet tones often found in bigger zins.