Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.
Tannat wines are making a name for themselves in Uruguay
Tannat grapes at Bouza winery and vineyards in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Why not pour yourself a glass for Tannat day this 14th April?

The post What do Tannat wines taste like? appeared first on Decanter.


Tannat wines are making a name for themselves in Uruguay
Tannat grapes at Bouza winery and vineyards in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Why not pour yourself a glass for Tannat day this 14th April?

The post What do Tannat wines taste like? appeared first on Decanter.

Tannat wines are making a name for themselves in Uruguay
Tannat grapes at Bouza winery and vineyards in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Red wines made from Tannat are classically deep-hued and intense with a lush kernel of black fruit, from plums to black cherry and cassis, wrapped in plenty of tannins that can range from bold to fine-grained and supple.  

As you probably know by now, decisions in the vineyard and the cellar can result in varying styles.

Balance is always the key, and some of the best recent examples of Tannat wines integrate the variety’s tannin content with natural acidity and bright fruit – as the examples below show.

You can also find Tannat being used to make rosé wines.

Madiran

In Madiran, Tannat’s traditional heartland of south-west France, you might find Tannat blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc.

Producers have been working with ways to manage tannin content in the wines to ensure a harmonious balance with other elements, according to the region’s wine body.

Lauded wine producer Alain Brumont is known for pioneering a new wave of pure Tannat wines in Madiran, launching his Château Montus Prestige in 1985.

Decanter’s Stephen Brook met him in 2020 and tasted several wines, including the 100% Tannat, Montus Prestige 2009.

Suave and very rich, it shows depth and spice and immense concentration, but it’s balanced by high acidity that keeps it taut,’ Brook wrote.

It’s possible to make lighter styles of Tannat varietal wines, too. This cooperative-made Madiran is 90% Tannat and shows a ‘lighter touch’ with supple tannins yet opulent fruit, according to Brook. 

This Château Bouscassé 2015 Madiran AOC wine blends 60% Tannat with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It’s ‘ripe and full-bodied, with dark, tarry, sweet black fruit’, said Decanter’s Amy Wislocki, but everything is in balance and it ‘shows how approachable Madiran can be’. 

Beyond France, this Pueblo Edén Tannat from Uruguay’s Viña Edén is ‘joyously fruity’ with fresh acidity, wrote Decanter’s Tina Gellie recently.

Speaking of Uruguay, the country is making a name for itself with fascinating styles of Tannat.

Tannat wines in Uruguay: Is this a new ‘Malbec’ story?

Jane Anson wrote in 2017 that Uruguay was the only country to have taken in Tannat as its national grape, a move that inevitably invites comparisons with how Argentina reimagined Malbec.

‘Estates like Bodega Garzon – located in a coastal village of the same name, close to Punta del Este by coincidence – have produced a more contemporary-styled version that is helping to smooth Tannat’s image of rustic, hard tannins in international markets,’ Anson wrote.

Tim Atkin MW marvelled at Uruguay’s ‘great ascent’ in this article last year.

And he cited a ‘world-class’ example of Tannat from Bouza winery in Montevideo in his article on 30 great South American red blends, too.

His tasting note praised the wine’s ‘top notes of violet, sweet spices and cut grass [with a] palate of cassis, plum, strawberry [and] nuanced tannins’.

You’ll also find the grape variety in some other parts of the wine world.

This Stinson Vineyards Tannat-dominant wine from Virginia in the US clocks in at 15.1% abv, but the tannins and 27 months ageing in new French oak are matched by floral notes and bright fruit, noted Jason Tesauro. 


You may also like: 

Madiran: A regional profile and top wines to seek out

Uruguay’s great ascent

The post What do Tannat wines taste like? appeared first on Decanter.


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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Laurel Gray Vineyards

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