The Web has made exploring foreign places in ways unknown just a quarter century ago. My Father was a subscriber to the National Geographic Magazine which was a great way for such armchair explorations in an earlier time. From my earliest memories I read every issue and then became a subscriber on my own to this very day.
Which probably explains my consistently seeking wines from other parts of the world. My recent exposure to some wines from Uruguay required further investigation. In South America Uruguay ranks fourth in the wine producing countries which include Argentine, Chile and Brazil.
In Uruguay the ranking varietal is Tannat which Basque immigrants brought with them. It is native to southwest France and parts of Spain. In California there are only small vineyards of this varietal and these planted just a few years ago.
Tannat has a reputation of being difficult for the winemaker because of high tannins and so is usually used for blending with other varietals.
The wines I tasted were blends of Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat with Syrah. I found them interesting, quite distinctive and enjoyable. The Winery was Tanterra from the San Jose region in Uruguay and the wines well aged in both oak barrels and bottle.
Uruguayan wines are not easy to find in California, but I though, worth the effort.