A dark glossy black in color, this spicy red offers up aromas of dark chocolate and smoky black cherries
spiked with cloves and cedar. This medium-bodied red is juicy and richly textured and has a meaty edge to
its cherry-tinged flavors. Savory and dry, the wine is nicely concentrated, with a floral finish that hints of
rose petals and cinnamon spice.
Blackberry, blueberry, cherry, licorice, dark chocolate and clove.
Wine-wise and otherwise, Uruguay maintains a low profile in comparison to its much larger neighbors,
Argentina and Brazil. But now Uruguay’s wine industry is emerging from obscurity and is producing
remarkably good local wine, the best of which is made from the French grape Tannat. Immigrants from
Spain and France first brought wine grapes to Uruguay some 250 years ago; Tannat came from France’s
Basque region, where it makes firm, rustic reds. In the warm coastal climate of the New World, this variety
has evolved from tough and tannic into a lushly fruity grape very different from its French counterpart.
Uruguayan winemakers have seized on Tannat as their signature grape, in much the same way that Argentina
is now championing Malbec. Bodegas Bouza, the passionate project of Juan Bouza and his family, is one of
the first names mentioned in any discussion of modern Uruguayan wine. Aiming for quality over quantity,
the Bouzas bought an abandoned winery a decade ago and transformed it into a top-notch facility. Their
flagship wine is this cuvee from Las Violetas, an estate vineyard in Canelones, the country’s prime wine
region. Dr. Eduardo Boido, one of Uruguay’s leading winemakers and an expert on Tannat, makes the
Grass-fed beef is ubiquitous in Uruguay and makes a superb accompaniment to Tannat’s savory, spicy
flavors. Thanks to its mild tannins and rich fruit, the Bouza Tannat also pairs well with fresh or cured ham
or pork, game, lamb and duck. Try savory preparations that include a hint of sweetness, such as apricot
glazed roast duck, flank steak marinated with soy sauce and a dash of honey, or a rib-eye steak with
caramelized shallots. Or play to the wine’s savory side with pungent or earthy ingredients like garlic,
mushrooms, eggplant or root vegetables. My recipe for Ropa Vieja will work exceptionally well.
Not many of your friends will know about Uruguayan Tannat.