Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The 5 Best High Tannin Wine Brands

Will Beck
Last Updated: July 31st, 2023

There are a few high tannin wine brands that stand out amongst the rest. These wines tend to be more full-bodied and have higher levels of tannins than other wines.

This can make them more difficult to drink, but some people enjoy the challenge.

What are Tannins?

Tannins are a natural chemical compound found in the skins and seeds of grapes. They’re also found in wood, including oak barrels. Tannins give the wine an astringent, dry feeling in the mouth. They can make your mouth feel pucker and your tongue feel fuzzy.

The amount of tannins in a wine is determined by the grape variety, the winemaking process, and how long the wine is aged. Some wines, like Barbera, have very little tannin. Others, like Petite Sirah, have lots of tannins.

Some amount of tannins are present in all wines. Red wines generally have more tannins than white wines. The tannins in wine come from grape skins, seeds, and stems.

During fermentation, the tannins are extracted from these sources and become a part of the wine.

The level of tannins in wine can also be affected by the winemaking process. For example, wines that are aged in oak barrels will pick up more tannins from the wood.

red wine bottle

How do Tannins Affect Wine?

Tannins add structure and complexity to the wine. They can make a wine taste more full-bodied and help it age gracefully. Tannins can also make a wine taste more bitter or astringent.

Some people enjoy the challenge of high tannin wines, while others find them too difficult to drink. If you’re new to high tannin wines, it’s best to start with a lighter-bodied wine like Pinot Noir or Barbera.

You can also try blending a high tannin wine with a lower tannin wine to create a more balanced drink.

About High Tannin Wine Brands

Wine brands that are high in tannins aren’t very common. These brands usually focus on producing red wines that are full-bodied and have high levels of tannins. These wines can be enjoyed right away, but they are meant for aging.

High tannin wine brands typically have more expensive offerings. This is because the grapes used to make these wines are of a higher quality. The winemaking process is also more complex, and the wines are aged for longer periods of time.

If you’re looking for a high tannin wine brand, be prepared to pay more for the privilege. However, these brands usually offer excellent quality wines that are worth the investment.

The Top High Tannin Wine Brands

1. Chateau Montelena

chateau montelena
Image: montelena

This label is most famous for winning the celebrated “Judgment of Paris” tasting in 1976. The event put Californian wines up against some of the best from France, and Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon came out on top.

The winery is located in the Calistoga region of Napa Valley and specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. They constantly question how they can make their wine better and they never settle for the way it’s always been done.

Innovation is the key to growth here and they focus on expanding their creative potential through every grape and every bottle.

Each unique season is something worth capturing, and it produces finer wines that don’t simply repeat what’s been done before.

Although Chateau Montelena strives for perfection with every new vintage, they also build their wines to stand the test of time, which means they’re very high in tannins.

Their on-site cellar has at least one bottle of every vintage they’ve ever made, dating back to the mid-1900s. These wines are meant to enjoy now, but your patience will also be rewarded later.

2. Penfolds

Image: penfolds

Penfolds is an Australian winery that’s been around since the early 1800s. They’re most famous for their flagship wine, Grange, which is a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Grange is one of the most collectible wines in the world and can age for decades. It’s a full-bodied wine with high tannin levels, so it’s best enjoyed by experienced wine drinkers.

However, Penfolds didn’t start out with this well-known varietal. In fact, they had immediate success in the beginning with Sherry and fortified wines.

By the late 1800s, they were producing one-third of the wines in Australia, and today, they are the leading wine producer in the country.

They still produce Grange, but they’re also famous for their Bin wines, which are more approachable and easy to drink.

The Bin series includes a wide variety of wines, from Chardonnay to Grenache, all with different flavor profiles and tannin levels.

3. Chateau Haut-Brion

chateau haut-brion
Image: BillBl

This French winery is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1525. It’s located in the Graves region of Bordeaux and specializes in red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.

Chateau Haut-Brion is known for its high tannin wines, which are some of the most collectible in the world. The winery produces three red wines and one white wine, all of which are highly sought-after by collectors.

The most famous wine from Chateau Haut-Brion is the “Le Haut-Brion,” which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This wine is known for its high tannin levels and intense flavor, which can take years to develop.

If you’re looking for a more approachable wine from Chateau Haut-Brion, try the “La Mission Haut-Brion,” which is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine is more fruit-forward and approachable, but it still has the signature high tannin levels of a Haut-Brion wine.

4. Lafite Rothschild

lafite rothschild
Image: lafite

Lafite Rothschild is one of the most famous wineries in the world, and its wines are some of the most collectible and expensive.

The winery is located in the Bordeaux region of France and specializes in red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

The winery is now under the control of the sixth generation of Rothschilds and has locations all over the world, including Chile, China, and Argentina.

These wines may not be accessible to most people, but if you have life goals that involve wine, one of them should probably be to get your hands on one of these bottles someday.

5. Caymus Vineyards

caymus vineyards

Caymus Vineyards is a family-owned winery located in the Napa Valley region of California. The winery was founded in 1972 by Chuck Wagner and his parents, and they specialize in red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon.

Caymus Vineyards is most famous for their “Special Selection” Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a single-vineyard wine that’s only produced in years when the grapes reach their full potential.

This wine is known for its high tannin levels and intense flavor, and it’s one of the most sought-after wines in the world.

If you’re looking for a more approachable wine from Caymus Vineyards, try the “Napa Valley” Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a blend of grapes from several different vineyards in Napa Valley.

This wine is more fruit-forward and approachable, but it still has the signature high tannin levels of a Caymus wine.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the many high tannin wine brands out there. If you’re looking for a wine with intense flavor and high tannin levels, these are some of the best producers in the world. Cheers!

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

Just so you know, if you click on a product on and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

Leave a Comment