Posted by: runningwinegirl | March 19, 2010

Uruguay isn’t the only place producing a great Tannat

The first time I heard the word Tannat was the night I met Howard and Debbie O’Brien, owners of Chateau O’Brien, in a wine store. We started talking wine and discovered we shared a love for big reds. Somehow we ended up in front of a bottle of the Pisano Tannat and I got my first lesson on the grape. Upon visiting Chateau O’Brien for the first time, I was lucky to taste the 05 Tannat. This was over a year ago and ever since I’ve been trying it every chance I get.

Tannat has put Uruguay on the map and Yahoo posted a great article today discussing how that’s happened. However, Virginia’s climate also allows for this grape to grow and I’m excited to learn that there are some excellent Tannat’s coming from the state.

 I was super excited at last fall’s release of Chateau O’Brien’s 06 Limited Reserve Tannat. I bought two bottles before tasting it if that says anything about my expectations. I decided after a rough conversation with my parents this week, to spoil myself with a good glass of wine. I opened the 06 Tannat and put it through my vinturi once. I’m happy to say that’s all it took although it did improve with some time in my glass. The structure, dark fruit and velvety finish had my palate singing praises throughout the long finish. If you like a full bodied red, as I do, then this is a wine you will enjoy. I drank it alone while cooking dinner. It’s wonderful that way although this will pair up with many foods. It’s exciting to see Virginia working with a grape varietal like Tannat. It wasn’t Uruguay that introduced me to it, it was Chateau O’Brien and I can’t wait to taste the 2007 vintage.

 If you get the chance, I highly recommend visiting this vineyard. It’s one of my favorites in Virginia. The classic and reserve tastings have something for everyone. If you are a fan of sweet wines, you’ll love the Apple wine. And if you’re lucky, you can say hello to Buddy. =)


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