Madera Sella Tannat Suave 2013, from Uruguay, is a slightly less big version of a grape from France. Tannat is a wine known for being robust and tannic. Many consider it's most pure expression to be wines from Madiran in Southwestern France. These French wines are unique, large and tannic. Tannat is also often used in blends with malbec, in the Cahors area, for instance. If I wine is labeled "Cahors" it has to be at least 70 percent malbec. The rest can be either merlot or tannat.
This version of the wine is different from the robust, tannic French versions (which I have rarely had, they can be quite expensive!). While this isn't a light wine, it is also not super tannic nor is it particularly large in body compared to
the French wines. Keep in mind the Madiran tannats are REALLY tannic, to my taste they are pretty close to overwhelmingly tannic. Saying this wine isn't as tannic as those is not saying they LACK tannins. There are still firm tannins here.
This wine has the grapey nose but beneath that almost grape bubblegum scent is something gamey when you taste it. It is like cured meat, smokey in a way. That gamey grapey smell and taste does dissipate with air--a lot of air--like an hour or two. It isn't super fruity but does have dark ripe blackberry with maybe hints of plum. There is noticable oak influence too. With some air the wine calms down somewhat but it isn't really a mellow wine. It is hard to imagine you want to put this moderately priced wine down for any amount of time but maybe.
It has some bite, good acidity and balanced fruit. It is a different sort of red, a little-known French grape from a country most of us don't associate with wine making. Don't scoff at Uruguay as a wine producer. This wine was around $15 and was a quality product for the price. There are other, pricier, Uruguayan tannats that may be on the menu for later.