“Tannat?” I hear you asking.
Yup. Tannat. And a Tannat from Brazil. The 2013 Vinicola Salton Classic Tannat, to be specific.
“Brazil makes wine?” You’re still asking.
And my reply is this: Yes. And very, very good wine at that.
Salton is the oldest, still-operating winery in all of Brazil, with vineyards in two regions in Rio Grande do Sul. The tannat grapes for this particular bottle are grown in the region of Campanha Gaúcha, near the border of Brazil and Uruguay. The region is sunny and dry, which makes it ideal for cultivating bold and flavorful grapes.
If you love dark, flavorful red wines but sometimes hate the tannic, dry feeling they leave in your mouth, tannat is the varietal for you. None of that harsh acid of the famous Argentine Malbec or the grassy notes of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
I’ve been a huge fan of the winemaking heritage in South America, but I never could get over the relative harshness of reds from Mendoza. This tannat is fragrant and flavorful, lush and mellow– and the color is stunning.
Just before I received samples from Salton (I also got a bubbly that I’ll review next week), I was griping on Twitter that I couldn’t find a wine in stores that seemed fresh and new. And then, this landed at my doorstep.
If you’ve grown tired of overpriced Cabernet from California, doling out good money for a drinkable Pinot, or finding inexpensive Spanish Tempranillo just too one-note, I suggest searching for Salton in your local area.
And the best part? This particular party shouldn’t cost you more than $12 in stores!