We recently hosted a wine tasting with a group of friends, and asked everyone to bring wine from a Spanish-speaking country for under $13. Everyone brought two of the same bottle, and the person who brought the favorite bottle won all the duplicate bottles, while the person who brought the most poorly rated wine was punished with taking his duplicate bottle home. The winner ended up being the 2 Brothers 2004 Big Tatoo Red, a blend of Syrah (50%) and Cabarnet (50%) from the Colchagua valley in Chile. The wine is more of American-style Cabarnet, with dark, heavy fruit flavors balanced out with its tannins.
Not sure what to expect from a Uruguayan wine, the 2000 Tannat Roble Reserva from Bodega Moizo Hnos. was a delicious surprise. We were told from the wine shop where we bought this bottle that its varietal, "Tannat", describe its tannins, which are defintely strong, but balanced out by spicy, woody, and dark fruit flavors. Originally from the Madiran region south of France's Bourdeaux region, Tannat was imported to Uruguay by Basque settlers. Now one of the most important varietals in Uruguay, Tannat also goes by the name Harriague. Unlike the syrupy taste of many American Cabarnets and Merlots, this tasty, medium-bodied wine stands on its own but could easily complement a steak filet or spicy Thai dish.