Definition - What does Tannat mean?
Tannat is a red varietal grape that originated in the Madiran Region of southern France. Tannat is very popular and is grown all over the world and is considered the grape of Uruguay, due to its success in growing there. The name Tannat, is derived from the word "tannin", and this grape is well known for its astringent juice due to the high levels of tannins that it contains in its very thick skin and high seed count. Wines made with Tannat grapes have flavors of berries and dark red fruit and are often mixed with other wines like cabernet to create softer, more drinkable flavor profiles.
WineFrog explains Tannat
Tannat has been grown and used to make wines since the 17th century. The Tannat grape vine grows exceptionally well in rocky soils, much like its growing region of origin, the Madiran region of Southern France at the foothill of the Pyrennes Mountains. Traditionally, the appellation laws of the Madiran region regulated that Tannat be blended with Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon, although the region also produces Madiran wines using 100% Tannat.
During the late 1800s, the Tannat vine was exported to Uruguay, where it easily adapted to the climate and soil and began to grow abundantly. Tannat was successful in Uruguay; it become the national red grape varietal of the country and is used to make a majority of the wines from Uruguay. The climate and soil of Uruguay causes Tannat grapes to have softer tannin profiles, which allows vintners to create many distinctive wine styles.
Due to its high tannic level, Tannat wines are robust with deep aromas of spice, smoke, berries and dark red fruit. While often blended with other wines to create softer flavor profiles, aged Tannat wines will develop deep flavor profiles, with balanced tannins and acidity.