This is probably the most elegant, Meritage-style varietal Tannat from anywhere that I’ve had. It won a gold medal in the 2018 Governor’s Cup and a silver in the 2017 event.

Post-fermentation, the wine underwent extended maceration (on the skins) for 17 months, half of that in new French oak. You might think such a long time for the juice on skins would make a bitter and tannic wine, but extended maceration draws ripe tannins from the seeds (the skins should already have given up their phenolic compounds during a hot fermentation).

This wine shows that in the right hands, Tannat can be Virginia’s version of Cabernet Sauvignon (which only ripens in select sites here). On the nose, you have ripe black fruits, a hint of clean earth or forest floor, and a subtle hint of vanilla/oak.

On the palate, the wine is subtle and elegant, with ripe black fruits, well-integrated tannins, and a smooth and seductive texture. Very harmonious and stylish. $50