Christine DUPUY - Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT

Christine DUPUY - Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT


Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT Madiran Vieilles Vignes

Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT Madiran Vieilles Vignes


155 year old Tannat vines @ Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT

155 year old Tannat vines @ Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT


Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT Dry Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Sec

Domaine LABRANCHE LAFFONT Dry Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Sec


Christine DUPUY: The Queen of South West France

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September 04, 2012
By: Julie DUMON

Chritine DUPUY : The Queen of South West France
by Craig HEFFLEY, WINE AUTHORITIES – NORTH CAROLINA

 
               In 1992 Christine DUPUY took over her family’s winery after the unexpected death of her father. She was 23 years old, had studied oenology, but had not made wine on her own. Other (male) vineyard owners tried to convince her that this was « no business for a young woman » and that she should sell her family’s prized Madiran vineyard and old cellar to a man instead. She refused their offers and stuc kit out with practical help from her neighbors, getting better each vintage, working to eventually make better wine than her father without sacrificing the character of their vineyard.
                Today, twenty years later, she id considered one of the top quality producers of the entire region. Over the last ten years, we’ve watched her go from good winemaker with ah amazing vineyard, to a master who now coaxes the bery best from that amazing vineyard. While visiting other producers around Madiran I brought up her name. They replied in awe at the transformation of the young woman in a desperate situation who has now become one of the very best. She has truly earned their respect, but she and the wines of her region are still completely unknown to most Americans.
                Christine’s Madirans are based on the rugged Tannat grape. A grape so fierce and tannic, it took a decade of aging or often more to make them drinkable. The year before she took over her winery, her neighbor Patrick Ducournau invented micro-oxygenation, a method of releasing microscopic oxygen bubbles in the bottom of a tank of red wine to soften its tannins. Christine uses this technique sparingly, so as to not take away the typicity of the grape, while still trimming down its abusively tannic structure.
                White wine only makes up about 10% of the wine in Madiran, and it goes by a different name, Pacherenc du Vic Bilh. Using a blend of Courbu, Petit and Gros Manseng, and the rare Arrufiac grape, the dry ones (called Sec) smell of honey, peaches and nuts, but are surprisingly dry, with the juicy acidity of green apple and lime juice. The sweet ones resemble a hypothetical crossing of Sauternes and Eiswein. In previous vintages, Wine Authorities was lucky enough to be one of only two places in the US to get her whites.
 
WINE AUTHORITIES Tasting Notes
MADIRAN "Tradition» – 2008 (organic)
70% Tannat, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
"Inky black cherry & leather, hints of five spice."
MADIRAN "Vieilles Vignes" – 2007 (organic)
100% Tannat, 55 to 155 year old vines
"Black & potent, inky berry, spices & tar."
MADIRAN "Vieilles Vignes" – 2009 (organic)
100% Tannat, 55 to 155 year old vines
"Turn it up 3 notches and blast off."
 PACHERENC DU VIC BILH – SEC 2010
70% Gros Manseng, 20% Petit Manseng, 10% Arrufiac
"Bosc pear and clementine, wispy gardenia, almond and caramel."

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