Monday, September 5, 2016

Black Wine Of Oregon: Troon Tannat

This Applegate Valley wine, the Troon Blue Label Estate Tannat 2013, is from the dirt of southern Oregon, estate-grown, and it puts Troon’s general manager, Craig Camp, in mind of the wines of Madiran. As well it should. It's as black as wine gets, like the wines of that French region. Also like Madiran, it's Tannat, and it comes with the expected tannic structure for which that grape is known. His Troon Malbec had the same sort of effect on him.

The Oregon terroir offers a racy acidity and a strong fruit presence, with alcohol at the bargain rate of 13,7% abv. It retails for $29.

This dark, indigo wine - actually, no light gets through it, so let's call it black - smells of the blackest blackberries and earthiness earth. There’s a smoky touch to the nose and a hint of black olives, too. On the palate, it's pretty explosive. First of all, the tannins couldn't hide if they wanted to, and they don't want to. Have a steak ready, heavily marbled. Flavors of brambly black and blue berries, plums and black raspberries come forward from their earthy home and carry a savory mineral streak with them.  Berries remain on the finish.