2017 Domaine Labranche Laffont TANNAT BLEND Madiran
Domaine Labranche Laffont is living proof that a tannic beast can be tamed by a woman’s touch. The wines of Madiran are often thought of as robust, with the Tannat grape throwing its significant weight around the palate. Enter Christine Dupuy, a game changer in the region, with a mission to fight the Tannat stereotype. Dupuy took over Domaine Labranche Laffont in 1993, becoming the youngest female winemaker in the region. The vineyard, located in the small commune of Maumusson-Laguian, has grown from 6 to 20 hectares under Dupuy’s guidance, with organically grown native varieties including Tannat, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng as well as Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate is known as the keeper of hidden gems, as Christine is one of two winemakers in Madiran (with legend Alain Brumont) to own Tannat vines that date back to the pre-phylloxera era at the end of the 19th century (1870's).
Malolactic fermentation and ageing occurs in old barrels, with a focus on minimal sulphites and lightly filtered (unfined) bottling. The red Madiran is deep, with aromas of spices, leather, and dark chocolate. The palate brings ripe, soft fruits and liquorice and an elegant framework with fine tannins. It’s safe to say Dupuy has nailed her aim to produce approachable, elegant Tannat. These wines, much like their maker, have a natural ability to charm and leave you with a smile.