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"THE colour, the tannins, the complexity, the fruit", Christine Dupuy, the young, friendly owner of Domaine Labranche-Laffont, answers my question about what is so special about the Tannat grape variety.

Domaine du Crampilh% Aurions-Idernes% AOC Madiran

I can easily understand Christine's answer: Black with a reddish sheen, her 2001 "Vieilles Vignes" presents itself. A bouquet of dried mulberries, raspberries and spicy notes flows from the glass. One sip and a surge of tannin washes over my palate, still youthfully astringent but already with rounded edges. The wine has a very firm, concentrated body, it's punchy but not heavy-handed, the pronounced, well-integrated acidity making sure of that. The clear minerality carries the beautiful, very long finish. An excellent wine with an excellent ageing potential and a very good price-pleasure ratio. For 12 Euros you can get it at the winery. Better said, you got it, because except for a few bottles that Christine put aside, the vintage is completely sold out.