Description 1 of 4

Name of varietal: Tannat

Common synonyms: Harriague, Moustrou, Moustroun, Bordeleza Belcha

Parentage of the grape: indigenous to southwest France

History of the grape: Tannat has been growing in southwest France for many centuries. The grape has the distinction of possessing the highest amounts of oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs), a.k.a. tanninns, than any other (hence the name). It’s the basis for many varietal releases and blends in Madiran and Irouleguy table wines. Its big break came in 1870 when Basque-French immigrant Pascual Harriague took Madiran vines to his new home in Uruguay, where the varietal adapted very well to the hot and humid conditions there and flourished, becoming the country’s signature grape. Because Uruguay never suffered from the Phylloxera crisis that otherwise devastated Europe and other countries, descendants of the original cuttings first brought there still exist, and grapes from these prized vines are known as “Harriague.”

Characteristics of the grape: firm in tannins, full-bodied, dark garnet red/purple, blackberries, dark plum, smoke, clove, nutmeg, allspice. As a late harvest dessert wine from Uruguay, it magically manifests in flavors of cocoa with pleasant mineral undertones. Think Ovaltine with a delicious kick.

Regions where the grape is currently important: France: Madiran, Irouleguy. Uruguay, California, Oregon, Virginia

Type or types of wines the grape produces: dry reds, late harvest dessert


– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 4

(aka. Harriague)

Tannat is a highly tannic, black-berried grape grown in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, in the southwest corner of France. A minimum of 40% of this grape is used in the blend to make Madiran, a perfumed full-bodied red wine with a meaty texture combined with aggressive, powerful tannins in youth. Although its plantings in France have been declining, Tannat is widely grown in Uruguay, where it is also called 'Harriague', and is employed to make a well-liked varietal wine. Likely Basque in origin, small amounts of this variety are also grown in Argentina. Tannat is also being explored in North America, with limited plantings in Napa Valley and in Virginia where the vine has proven successful in experimental trials.

Mr. Tannat, they say you are both beast and gentleman. At heart you are a fellow of reflection. Many a naive imbiber has unwittingly trekked to the Pyrenees seeking your wisdom. Alas, their inexperience and impetuous desire to make your acquaintance dooms them to an unforgettable lesson, rarely fatal, but often at the expense of an appendage. Your methods are well documented -- seduce them with romantic anecdotes, then attack with unbridled aggression. You assault your prey with powerful teeth and unrelenting grip. Your prize is their tongue. For your victims, it is a lesson learned in the morning mirror. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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Description 3 of 4

Uruguay grows more Tannat than anywhere else. The Tannat grape contains more oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) than any other grape variety. Recent research, led by Dr. Roger Corder (a cardiovascular expert at the William Harvey Research Institute in London) makes the case for oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) as the source of red wine's health benefits. All red grapes, particularly those with thick skins and high skin-to-pulp ratios, contain OPC's. But, after measuring the OPC concentration of several common red wine grapes, Dr. Corder identifies Tannat as the grape with the greatest concentration. The real-life evidence of Tannat's benefits can be seen in the surprisingly long lifespans of residents of the département of Gers in southwest France, whose local wine principal grape is Tannat. In fact this wine is very good for you. – Description from fiona1605

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Description 4 of 4

false – Description from Martin Jachnik

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