Kranskop Tannat 2016

It’s truly exciting to see so much distinctive, delicious South African wine making its way here, thanks in large part to savvy, industrious importers. It’s especially cool when an unexpected varietal shows up — and shows exceedingly well. The Kranskop Tannat 2016 ($20) brings on the dark red and black fruit on the nose and the palate, with spot-on tannins persisting through the sturdy but smooth finish. It’s delicious now, but also boasts the structure to age for a few years. If this is any indication of what South Africa can do with tannat, it will join Uruguay and the Madiran region of France as meccas for the grape. Grilled beef, game, lamb and/or onions are ideal accompaniments.

Available at Dolce Vita, Lake Wine & Spirits, Village Liquors, Excelsior Vintage, Liberty Village, Shorewood, France 44 and Westside (Waite Park and Willmar, Minn.).

Bill Ward