Tannat Grape Variety
Tannat is a red wine grape variety best known as the dominant grape variety in Madiran, Southwest France's most famous red wine. The grape probably originated in the Basque country and almost certainly derives its French name from its high tannin levels. It is a thick-skinned grape variety that produces deeply coloured, well-structured wines that can be tough and austere in youth. However with ageing the massive tannins round out while the wine develops nuances of spices, coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.
In Madiran it is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Fer. Outside of France the grape is extremely popular in Uruguay, where it was planted by Basque settlers in the 19th century.