Labranche-Laffont

VigneronChristine Dupuy
LocationMaumusson-Laguian (Gers)
Size of Domaine20 ha
TerroirContinental climate with Atlantic influence. Silty clay, limestone, pebbles. Gentle slopes 130-260m.
ViticultureCertified organic (Bureau Veritas)
View Labranche-Laffont wines ↓

In 1992 when she was just 23, Christine Dupuy took over 6ha of family vineyards when her father died unexpectedly, becoming the youngest winemaker in the Madiran appellation. Located on the gently rolling hillsides of Maumusson, in very sticky heavy yellow clay with some pebbles and limestone, the domaine had been in the family’s hands since the French revolution.

Although she had just qualified as an oenologist, Christine had little practical experience, which she set out to gain by working stages at well-known local domaines Aydie, Capmartin and Chapelle l’Enclos, together with support and advice from Alain Brumont. Christine has come a long way since those early days and has gradually built up her holdings to current levels (with 15ha in Maumusson and 5ha in Saint-Lanne), all hand-harvested and tended organically since 2010 (certified since 2014).

She is very fortunate to be one of only two growers in the region to own a clutch of tannat vines dating back to the 1870 before phylloxera. As well as her main production of Madiran she also has 3ha of white grapes destined for Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh in dry and sweet forms.

When it comes to winemaking Christine has a sixth sense as to how to extract balanced, pure fruited wines in a region where burly oak licked monsters are too often the norm from the deep coloured, structured tannat grape. She carries out long élevages in cement (up to three years) for the basic cuvée to help soften up the tannic structure, and a year in recent oak barrels together with a year in cement for her fine Vieilles Vignes cuvée (a wine that will outlast many wines from the Médoc). Critics now justly acclaim Christine and she is one of the leading winemakers in Madiran.

Labranche-Laffont Wines

Labranche-Laffont

MADIRAN 2017
70% Tannat, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc (14% alc.)

Two thirds of Christine Dupuy’s 45yo vineyards produce this cuve-aged wine whose dense ripe black fruit puts us in mind of good northern Spanish reds. Low yields, optimum maturity for grape picking, a gentle touch when it comes to extraction, low sulphur after malos (35mg/l total), and a three years élevage help to give the wine notable freshness and balance.

Labranche-Laffont

MADIRAN 2014
Vieilles Vignes
100% Tannat (14.5% alc.)

Old vines here are an average age of 50yo (with one small parcel of ‘pre-phylloxera’ vines over 140yo). The vines are pruned hard to ensure a low yield. Light pigeage is applied during the fermentation in cement cuve before one year in oak barrels (25% new). The wine has a deep blackcurrant colour, offers ripe cassis and liquorice on the nose, intense fruit with a hint of spice on the palate, and a long, sustained finish. For drinking now to 2027+.

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