High tannins and high acidity

Hi. I'm getting into wine and am noticing that I like lots of acidity with lots of tannin as well. What grapes would fit this description generally? Red wine only please. Thank you!
 
Welcome Jordan,

It sounds as though your palate leans towards quite structured, classic wines. I would suggest:

Nebbiolo (used for Barolo or Barbaresco)
Syrah / Shiraz (either on it's own as a varietal or used for Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas, St Joseph)
Cabernet Sauvignon (again as a varietal or in Bordeaux blends from Pauillac, St Estephe, St Julien, Margaux)
Mouvedre (used in a lot of traditional southern French wines such as Bandol, and also known as Monastrel in Spain)
 
Nerello Mascalese (Etna Rosso)
Nebbiolo (Barolo/Barbaresco)
Aglianico (Aglianico del Vulture, Taurasi)
Sangiovese (Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano)
 
Hmm, I suppose there is wiggle room in the definition of "generally lots of tannin and acidity", but I think I would be more restrictive in my suggestions. Would certainly agree with Nebbiolo though, and almost mentioned it myself but I wasn't then sure how acidic it was. Aglianico too I think, but my experience is very limited. But doesn't Mourvedre in particular tend to be low in acidity? I did try to read up on it a bit, but all I could find was that the acidity drops rapidly on ripening, so it can be tricky to hit the right point to harvest.
 
In addition to the above: Cahors (Malbec grape); Madiran (Tannat grape). Plus a very fine value Italian wine 'Biferno' from the tiny region 'Molise'. Typically under a tenner and should fit the bill perfectly.

However it can also be useful to follow certain producers who may transcend their wine region in pursuing a style that remains committed to strong tannins and acidity (whilst many others actively seek to make softer, more approachable, but to my mind often less interesting wines)
 
Good tips above, but a rare Austrian grape called Blauer Wildbacher sounds like one you might also enjoy. It's usually made into rosé but the rare red ones are very high in acidity and tannin. And are IMO really nice though some do find them a bit extreme.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Hi Jordan,

Welcome. Lots of Italian wines have been mentioned and in general you might well like their style: many Italian red wines from classic regions like Chianti do have a distinctive tart cherry acidity that might well appeal, as well as quite firm tannins. Also Barbera, which I don't think has been mentioned already.

There are a few notable high acid reds - where the acid is so prominent as to cause some red wine drinkers not to 'get' them. The Portuguese variety Vinhao is one, appearing most often as red Vinho Verde, also the wines of Marcillac in France are fruity but have a very 'bright' acidity.
 
Hi Jordan,

Why not buy a good wine book or better still sign up to a course?

As much as I applaud the exotica being suggested here starting with the classic grapes and regions is a pretty good place to start and build up your tasting knowledge, reference points, likes and dislikes from there.

Such fun, and a whole new dimension to enjoying and appreciating wine.

One thing is for sure, you will soon realise that the more you know the less you realise you know as the saying goes!
 
Good tips above, but a rare Austrian grape called Blauer Wildbacher sounds like one you might also enjoy. It's usually made into rosé but the rare red ones are very high in acidity and tannin. And are IMO really nice though some do find them a bit extreme.
..and there is a sparkling version! "Bat wine" in Oakham and the wonderful Ben Robson will point you in the right direction!
 
+1 to what Alex said.

I would suggest that the grape variety is less important that the region of production. Every red grape can make a wine like that if it grown in a cool enough region and made traditionally, rather than in a modern way.


For high acid and high tannin, you should be looking at traditional wines from France and Italy, especially things like Saint Joseph, Cahors, Bordeaux and Bergerac. Even some basic Burgundy and Cru Beaujolais will fit the bill. In Italy I would choose wines from Tuscany, Umbria, La Marche and Piedmont.
 
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