Friday, January 11, 2008

To Be or Tannat To Be. Now, That's a ?

So you'll never guess which varietal has been found to make the most healthful of all wines. I asked two wine experts on the radio show and they couldn't guess.

Wine is known to protect against strokes, diabetes and dementia, so Corder, a professor of experimental therapeutics in London, performed tests to learn why. He found that procyanidins - protective anti-oxidants that improve blood-vessel function and prevent heart disease - are what makes red wine so healthy.

Roger Corder, author of the "The Red Wine Diet," found Madiran wines from the south of France to be the most beneficial to health because they contain the highest procyanidin levels.

Madiran, btw, is the name of the region or appellation in France (in the foothills of the Pyrenees) where these wines come from and the main varietal used to make these wines is called Tannat. Although this grape was originally native to the Basque region. It is also the prominent grape of Uruguay.

Luckily for those of us on the Central Coast, great examples of these super healthy wines are made right in Paso Robles by Tablas Creek and Lone Madrone.

The 2003 Tablas Creek Vineyard Tannat is Tablas Creek's second bottling of this traditional varietal from South-West France. The Tannat grape has intense fruit, spice, and tannins that produce wines capable of long aging, and it is traditionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc.

When Tablas Creek imported their Ch√Ęteauneuf du Pape clones, the Perrins' French nurseryman included the Tannat because he believed it would thrive in the rocky limestone soils of Paso Robles. They planted just under an acre of Tannat, and it has indeed thrived.

And Lone Madrone, by winemaker Neil Collins, has a Tannat that you cannot resist. Listen to their tasting notes: "Oh so dark in the glass with a tight complex nose. Juicy red and dark fruit in the mouth, with beautiful structure and length. This finish shows firm yet not aggressive tannins."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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