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(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

Cambiata Central

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. 


Promotional Material

 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

There's a nautilus in our label?

Sunset Magazine, February issue, highlights Cambiata Albariño as one of their favorite wines made from “thoroughly romantic Latin grapes.”

What's for Dinner?

Is this the future of wine reviews???

Check out a very entertaining review of the Cambiata Tannat at

Once at their web site, search for Cambiata Tannat and click on “watch the video for this product.” Welcome Vayniacs.


 Wines are often praised for their versatility however should more consideration be given to wines that masterfully augment only a select brew of ingredients? (My immediate and preemptive apologies for waxing beyond my agro-anthropological expertise but please read on.) Cultural food and wine pairings evolve as a function of hunting, gathering and agrarian possibilities.  The wine you made had to go with what carbohydrate and protein source flourished in your neighborhood and if you lived in an arid climate you probably weren’t going to be cooking with truffles – until modern times. For the Basque of South West France, they had a surplus of carbohydrate rich chestnuts which led to their affection for chestnut fattened geese, pigs and ducks and foie gras and confits and goose fat in so many recipes. And somewhere along this path they seemed to have developed a fanaticism for over the top flavor – for example one Basque recipe for lamb advises prior to roasting that you slice half way into the meat at various locations and lay anchovies into the cuts so the fish flavors will absolutely permeate the meat. With some unease I will try this recipe and I know my Cambiata Tannat will probably be a fine compliment to the dish but my conventional, California cuisine minded thinking has me wondering, aren’t you a little bit crazy if you feel something as flavorful as lamb needs to be augmented with something as oily and aggressively aromatic as an anchovy? So if the Basque love Tannat because it goes so well with gregarious and  extroverted cooking does then proper Tannat absolutely have to have qualities that make it too zesty or too tannic for many other styles of cooking, cuisine that seeks to be more insouciantly witty?  And because Tannat is crafted for pairing with intense food should everyone forever forget about even contemplating a relaxing afternoon on the deck, reading a book and sipping, sans cheese or other lipid rich food, a true to the heritage Tannat? And back to my initial point, if a wine is so singular in purpose, in this case to waltz with the most savory and pugnacious culinary assemblages, is this not praiseworthy?

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?

Geometry to Know

Cambiata as part of music theory


Feature Article


Eric Laumann's Single Vineyard Rieslings

Monterey County (County Appellation)

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
March 31, 2009
Click HERE to read article

Think a shrew can be tough, just try to tame Tannat

Jon Bonné

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.

Click HERE to read full article 

The Grape Crusader

A Cool Wine Review & Tasting Journal

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.

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            Cambiata, Monterey (California) Tannat 2005 ($34)

Saying that this is the best American Tannat I've tasted is not necessarily to damn it, but the praise certainly seems faint, since the breed is so rare.  So let's just say that it's as good a Tannat-based wine as any I've tasted anywhere--including some fine examples from Uruguay as well as Madiran in southwestern France.  As seems typical for this variety, the tannins are quite firm, giving the wine a well-defined structure within which its ripe fruit flavors can come to the fore.  Those flavors echo black rather than red berries, and are enhanced by subtle secondary ones reminiscent of leather and savory spice, giving the wine compelling complexity.  It tastes both delicious and distinctive. 91 Paul Lukacs
Best Tannat - Worldwide?
Article by Michael Franz:
Yet Another Reason to Love Albarino
click               to read article
Agent Red Drinks Tannat?
Read about his mission:
Mission Codename: The Bold and the Beautiful

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!

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People's Choice Award
    2009 Mid State Fair 


2008 Albariño

Monterey Estate


 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