(nothing but gold in 2008)
2007 Cambiata Albariño
Riverside Wine Competition: Chairman’s Award, Unanimous Gold Medal
Orange County Wine Competition: Gold Medal
San Francisco International Wine Competition: Gold Medal
2005 Cambiata Tannat
San Francisco International Wine Competition: Double Gold Medal
2004 Cambiata Tannat
Orange County Wine Competition: Gold Medal
Just because a wine shop doesn’t have our Tannat on the shelf doesn’t mean there might not be a case in the store room. There’s no need to put this wine on display; though a bull of a wine, it escapes slyly from the cellar. Tannat, always in short supply, has a history of quietly being exchanged directly between friends and associates. Consequentially, Tannat is known as the “confidential” wine.
Cambiata Tannat Point of View
Cambiata Tannat Point of View
This wine almost needs a Richter scale to measure its intensity on the palate. It is a treasure for those that enjoy bold, mouth-filling wines that stain the teeth and challenge the tongue to a wrestling match. This is not a wine for the faint of heart. Tannat is best known as the grape used to make the sturdy wines of Madiran in the Southwest region of France; it is also grown in South America and in tiny quantities in California. Eric Laumann, formerly of Bonny Doon and Edna Valley Vineyards, had the opportunity to plant this tiny vineyard in 2002 and chose Tannat and Albarino because they were relatively unexplored in the States. Both of his efforts are delightful and true to the flavors of their indigenous regions. This Tannat is beautifully colored, intensely concentrated and brimming with ripe berry fruit. The tannins are substantial, but the fruit is sufficient to balance them out. Gorgeous! - Jeff Prather, former Restaurant Director and Cellar Master at the Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley
Sunset Magazine, February issue, highlights Cambiata Albariño as one of their favorite wines made from “thoroughly romantic Latin grapes.”
Is this the future of wine reviews???
Check out a very entertaining review of the Cambiata Tannat at www.winelibrary.com
Once at their web site, search for Cambiata Tannat and click on “watch the video for this product.” Welcome Vayniacs.
I’ve learned much about food and wine from this old and rustic grape. A master sommelier who frequently recommends my wine, lamented, along with my lamentations that Tannat takes an extra year in barrel to become drinkable, that “In the old days, classical foods apropos for Tannat & old varietals, seem to be longer cooked, braised... cassoulets, stews, etc. We don't see as much of that today as we used to. Although I think there will be a time when classical will be back in....” I’ve attached the body of the letter I wrote him to make better sense of his comments but note that his tone seems to share sentiment with the principles of slow food.
My Tannat is a limited production wine for a limited audience but my observations are in earnest and my process may have some value if applied to other facets of the food and wine universe. After 26 years as a professional winemaker, my story is not about a redundant winery incarnation or about crazy hair and earrings to prove I’m a passionate artist; my project is about pursuing wine with rigor.
When does a wine put pressure on the paradigm?
Eric Laumann's Single Vineyard Rieslings
Winemaker Eric Laumann:
Single-vineyard Riesling is “the only way Riesling should be made.”
The Monterey winemaker doesn’t stop there: He’s flexing his creativity with Albariño, Tannat, Gewurztraminer and Dornfelder.
by Laurie Daniel
Think a shrew can be tough, just try to tame Tannat
San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, February 8, 2009
"I just call it winemaker
ennui," says Eric Laumann, explaining what drove him to plant 2 acres of Tannat in a cooler corner of Monterey County.
As you might have surmised, Tannat gets its name from the word tannin, and tannin defines this often fiercely uncooperative red grape. Its roots appear to be Basque, and it can still be found in the Pyrenees that border France and Spain, including in the wines of Irouleguy. But its defining home is just north, in the Madiran area, and also in Uruguay, which has claimed Tannat as its own.
Purchase Details: Purchased by the glass for $12 at Alan Wong’s Restaurant on Oahu for Mother’s Day.
Tasting Notes: What a pleasure and treat it was to dine at one of Oahu’s finest fine dining establishments, Alan Wong’s Restaurant. Dining there usually means that a meal filled with fresh seafood is in order. I’m glad this 2007 Cambiata Albarino was offered by the glass, because I tasted it last year and was very impressed by it.
In the glass the wine possessed beautiful yellow, green straw colors. Citrus, white stone fruits, racy acidity and a juicy texture were making my palate happy. Although the wine was weighty and mega-concentrated, the wine never felt heavy or overpowering.
What a great accompaniment this wine was with the host of raw seafood dishes on the table. The wine was nervy, alive and fresh. What a nice wine!
Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: Any seafood, especially raw. To quote winemaker Eric Laumann, “Albarino is singular, distinctive, delicious and worth sharing with your best friends.”
Winery & Other Background Information: After reading the introduction section on the Cambiata Wines website, it doesnt’ take much to see that winemaker Eric Laumann is passionate about his work. The two varietals he works with (albarino & tannat) are not garden-variety grapes you often see grown on U.S. soil, but he does an extraordinary job of crafting well-made, varietally correct U.S. versions. They are delicious.
His wine making philosophy and desires are profound, sincere and clear, “I didn’t want to set out to plant unfamiliar varietals but when the opportunity arose to plant this small vineyard I found myself drawn to working with varietals that I thought were intriguing and that were relatively unexplored in the U.S. I wanted to also bring some new flavors to the wine enthusiast’s table.”
In addition to his albarino, I’ve had the pleasure to also taste his tannat. They are both outstanding and delicious wines. If you are a true wine enthusiast you must seek out his wines.
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure an allocation of the elusive Tannat from Cambiata Winery
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Read Full Article, click
BEST OF SHOW
2008 Cambiata Albariño
Judged best premium white wine at the 2009 Orange County Wine Competition (3089 Wines entered)
I’m hoping this is more than just good news for Cambiata but also great news for wine connoisseurs who believe this lively, rich and food friendly wine is a serious challenger for one of the top three spots at the top of the white wine pyramid. Ask for Cambiata Albariño at your local fine wine shop and please tell a friend - let them know what they’re missing.
Viva El Albariño!.
Partial Award list:
Ø Best of Show: Orange County Wine Competition
Ø Best of Class: Central Coast Wine Competition
Ø Double Gold Medal: San Francisco Chronicle Competition
Ø Four Star Gold Medal: Orange County Wine Competition
Ø Editor’s Choice, 91pts: Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Ø People’s Choice: Mid State Fair
Quotes about Cambiata TANNAT:
“My secret weapon, special go to wine is Cambiata Tannat. Every time I give this to someone they go crazy.”
- Tracy Gribbon, Beverage Director, Kenmare Restaurant, New York City
“Expanding your pallet is the whole game so the same old cabernet with a steak is boring. It’s time for you to go Tannat baby. I love (Cambiata Tannat), it’s a great choice.”
- Gary Vaynerchuk, NBC New York’s Feast & Wine Library TV
Unusual quotes possibly inspired by spending a late night with Tannat?
2006 Cambiata Tannat, Monterey
Everyone went bat-shit over this one. Rightfully so, it's definitely the best domestic Tannat I’ve ever tasted (I've tasted 2). It has a rich fragrance of violets and brush, like Santa Ana winds over a field of sage... No I didn't say that - who was that? Where am I? Holy shit that was weird.. Anyway big monster of a red wine. - Portland Food Coma
Off The Beaten Track
Tannat 2006, Cambiata $82
Tannat is an overpowering kick your ass in a bar kind of varietal that’s rarely taken on alone outside of Uruguay and France’s Madiran. Needless to say, it’s quite rare to find it in CA’s Monterey County, where it’s boasting its trademark beef and brawn, but it’s still huggable enough to drink straightaway. Eater - NY