What is that? It’s Tannat!

These days there are so many different places that you can shop for wine.  Some places carry furniture, garden tools, and oh ya… $2.87 wine.  Some places carry slightly

Tannat means Tannins!

higher end stuff, like funky furniture, and wine.  Oakville Grocery is not one of those places.  Oakville specializes in “the best” .  The best oils and vinegar, the best deserts, the best breads, the best meats and diner entres. And the best wines.  The Oakville Grocery in North Scottsdale which is located across the street from Kierland shopping center even has its own Sommelier.  Dave Johnson is not just a Sommelier, he is a level 3 Sommelier.  He is extremely knowledgable, yet totally approachable, down to earth.  There are not many places in the valley with such a well qualified staff to assist you in your wine purchases.   At Oakville you will find Louis Roederer Cristal.  You will find all the most well-known high California Cabernet’s.  But you will also find wines that you are not likely to find anywhere else.

I recently sat down with Dave Johnson for a private tasting.  The first wine we tried was a Tannat.  Dave asked me : “Do you know what Tannat means?  It means Tannins!” He poured me a generous glass of M. Cosentino Winery 2006 Tannat from Lodi California.  Actually, he popped the cork and then stamped my note pad with the wine stained end of it.  “Just look at that!”  he proclaimed.  I looked.  Dark purple, with tiny fine grains.  The wine itself was almost black.  Dave explained that there has been a huge rise in the popularity of red wine due to the “health benefits” of resveratol, and anti oxidants found in the tannins and grape skins.  It turns out that the Tannat varietal has 70 times more anti oxidants than Cabernet Sauvignon!  Wow!  But how does it taste?

I was expecting a bitterly acidic monster that I could use to strip paint.  It was nothing like that.  The tannins were actually not huge and over powering like a young Bordeaux or big California Cabernet.  M. Cosentino Tannat is from Lodi.  Lodi is the Zinfandel capital of the world.  This wine reminds me a lot of the Zinfandels that are produced in the area.  Big, for sure, but smooth, well rounded, and ripe.  It’s like a mouthful of astringent blackberries.  Some Zins are spicy, this Tannat was not.  Just an all around great wine.  If you like the bigger bolder wines like Cabernets and Zinfandels and Shiraz, you will LOVE this Tannat.  Plus you can pat yourself on the back for loading up on the health aspects.  And finally I flipped the bottle around and saw the price tag: $17!  What a deal!

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