ABOUT: Christine Dupuis took the reigns of Domaine Labranche-Laffont from her late father in the early 1990’s and has been producing outstanding wines and making a name for herself ever since. She began with 6 hectares of vines in the commune of Maumusson-Laguian and is currently managing 20 hectares, with some 150+ year old pre-phylloxera vines to brag about. The vines are Ecocert certified organic and populated by Tannat, Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon. The vineyards have some pretty ideal conditions, clay and limestone soils with south and southeast facing hillsides sloping down to the domaine. Her wines made from Tannat are to be reckoned with; aromatic and complex, easily rivaling the finest Malbec from her neighbors in Cahors. A very fresh expression of an underrated grape and region. The wine called “Tradition” is mostly Tannat rounded out by deftly balanced Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon. More to come.
TASTE: Similar to the Vieilles Vignes, the Tradition is inky and deeply extracted. Fairly intense aromas of rosemary, pine needles, raspberries, cranberries, smoke and butter, in that order. Big bodied with soft-ish tannins and roundness thanks to the ripe Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc in the mix. This is a heady, smoky red wine but with a shapely figure, ready to drink or hold for another decade. And like the Vieilles Vignes, it’s an incredible value.
PAIR: Piperade with poached eggs, vegetarian Moussaka, tomato and leek quiche, ratatouille with a hunk of French bread, mushroom and roasted red pepper pizza, and potato au gratin with leeks.