Maestria Madiran 2009, South West France

One of the things sommeliers and wine aficionados will tell you is that when you start your own personal wine exploration, try many different varietals to understand what’s out there, but more importantly, to determine what you like the most.  If you’ve been told this, know that they are not lying.  The whole nature of ‘self wine exploration’ is what turned me on to a lesser known wine varietal called Tannat.  The Tannat grape is often classified as being extremely high in tannins and somewhat hard to manage in the wine making process, unless you know what you are doing.  With that being said, and knowing Tannats stubborn nature, wine makers who choose to use the varietal, are forced to master differing techniques, meaning that by the time you get it, you are usually in for a masterful treat.  Now, that you know all of the above, you understand why I chose to post my thoughts on this wine here, on the Wine Hobbyist.

The Mestria Madiran is a blend of Tannat (70%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%).   Knowing the makeup of both of these varietals, the colour of this wine is a natural (sorry) blood red, giving you hints to the expected fullness on your palate.  On the nose, you pick up hints of spice (expected), but a surprisingly strong fruit bouquet including plum, and blackberry, with some later floral noted, as the wine continues to open.  On the palate, the tannins are undeniably noticed, but its blend with the wines fruit taste, provides a smooth, medium to long finish.  Quite fantastic on the palate and an excellent match for your steak or hardy pasta dish. I, of course, paired mine with a well aged pecorino.

If you’ve been avoiding Tannat wines because of its high tannic levels, but yet are still somewhat inquisitive, this is a terrific wine to start your Tannat ’self exploration’.

This wine retails in the LCBO vintages for $16.95

We gave this wine a score of 4/5