www.solunewinery.com

Tannat Haiku
by
wine club member
Penn Martin

Vineyard sun-drenched grapes
Fattan naturally, plump
Dark juices sweeten

Tannat Health Benefits
Tannat has ben reported to contain a high level of compounds rich in anti-oxidants, therefore not only very tasty, but also very good for your health (if consumed in moderation, of course).


On a lighter note,Tannat is our first palindrome wine.


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Where the Wine Tells the Story

TANNAT @ SOLUNE


Tannat is a new Solune offering of a unique varietal (click here for more Tannat info) originating in the Madiran region of South West France (Basque country, in the Pyrénées foothills). Basque mid-1800's immigration to Uruguay has resulted in Tannat also migrating to that region, where it is now the national red wine (similar to the story of Malbec in Argentina).

In California, Solune is one of only a handful of vineyards growing Tannat, with Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, being a main driving force behind the introduction of Tannat in our state. Jacques discovered Tannat while judging in Argentina and France and was sufficiently impressed to plant 3 trial rows in our own vineyard. It turned out to be our best terroir match, with the young vines producing great fruit even during the more challenged 2010 & 2011 growing seasons.

This first release is a non-vintage blend from our first 3 harvests from these 3 experimental rows. We recently grafted over an additional 10 rows and will eventually be able to produce, along with our 3 rows of Petite Sirah (a natural ally of Tannat), enough grapes (3-4 tons) to produce an annual vintaged Tannat release containing about 20% Petite Sirah (below the allowed 25% for other varietals).

To introduce Tannat as a varietal, we recently held a comparative tasting event for our wine club members, as follows:
- 2 French Tannats from the Madiran region (Pyrénées Foothills - Basque region) brought back by Jacques on his last trip to France earlier this year.
- 1 from Uruguay (the largest Tannat producer outside of France).
- 2 from California (Tablas Creek and, of course, Solune).

All tasters were asked to vote on their favorites.  Participants could select any of the 5 wines they tasted (just checked the wines they liked - no ranking involved). The results, given as a % of voters for each wine (totals more than 100% because each voter could vote for multiple wines), were as follows:

Tannat Tasting Results (tasted in order of increasing tannins):
- Tablas Creek Vineyard (2011), Paso Robles (95% Tannat, 5% Cab. Sauv.). => 42%
- Solune Winegrowers (2010/2011/2012 estate blend), Sierra Foothills (90% Tannat, 10% Zinfandel). => 89%
- Chateau de Sabazan (2010), Saint Mont/Madiran/France (70% Tannat, 20% Cab. Sauv., 10% Pinenc). => 38%
- Pisano RPF (2007), Progreso/Uruguay (100% Tannat). => 16%
- Prenium de Crouseilles (2010), Madiran/France (Tannat, with some Cab. Sauv. & Cab. Franc). => 62%

As you can see, the Solune Tannat did very well, although Jacques' personal favorite was the Prenium de Crouseilles (most depth & complex bouquet coming from older vines), with the Solune a close second choice (vines are still young). 

The Solune Tannat was able to more than hold its own in an international Tannat flight and you will taste it getting even better in future releases, as our vines get older (we are already tasting the deeper flavors in our 2012 & 2013 vintages).