The Michael David Inkblot Tannat 2012 is sourced from a single vineyard located in the southeastern edge of the Lodi AVA in northern California. Michael and David Phillips are brothers and 5th generation grape growers (their family has been farming in Lodi since the 1850s) who started their winery in 1984. Lodi is in the northern end of California’s Central Valley, it is east and a little south of Napa. Tannat is a grape found in southwest France, it is a tannic grape and is often used in a blend to give the wine some backbone. For a single varietal grape it is aged in oak for some time to soften the tannins, Michael David aged the Inkblot Tannat (there is also a Inkblot Cabernet Franc) in French oak barrels for 16 months. The alcohol content is a stout 15.3%. List price is $35.
The Inkblot name does not lie, the color is deep dark crimson red. The nose is rich, ripe red berries and French vanilla. The Inkblot is a full, rich, dry wine, but balanced and not overpowering. It tastes of raspberry, jammy blackberry, fudge, plums, black licorice and herbs. The tannins make themselves known, but do not bite. The acidity is balanced and the finish is bold and lengthy.
The Michael David Inkblot Tannat 2012 is no shrinking violet, if big, bold and flavorful is what you are looking for, you will find it here. For a wine pairing, think steak or roasts and while I do not smoke, the Inkblot would go well with a Cohiba cigar. There are not a lot of single vineyard California Tannat wines out there, the Inkblot Tannat is a special, unique wine. If you are looking to place Tannat into a wine category, think Barossa Valley Shiraz or Lodi old vine Zinfandel.