Monday, February 1, 2010

TN: Domaine Laffont 2006 Madiran Erigone

The Domaine Laffont 2006 Madiran Erigone is the first wine I've tried from the appellation of Madiran in Southwest France. Madirans are supposedly rustic wines made largely from the Tannat grape, and are typically tannic as the varietal name Tannat suggests. This wine is 80% Tannat and 20% Cab Franc. I'm happy to report that this is a better, more serious wine than the last Tannat-heavy wine I tasted. It's only mildly rustic, and while black as night, the tannins are well-tamed albeit quite evident.

Here are my notes:
Bouquet is a bit reticent, but shows licorice, herbs, black fruit, cedar and just a little barnyard. Structured on the palate. Lots of tannins--not too hard, not too soft, though. Medium acid. Mid palate has good presence, depth. More licorice and dark fruit on the finish. Really good stuffing, well-integrated oak, somewhere between rustic and elegant, though on the purple/black end of the spectrum.
This is definitely one to decant as it opened up over several hours. I wish I had another bottle or two to age as this has the freshness, structure and balance to suggest I'll still like it in a few years or perhaps even a decade. It really hits that sweet spot as a modern wine from an Old World region--not spoofy, but not overly rustic, either. Excellent wine at a super price, and one I'll look for in future vintages.

Pros: Structured, Balanced, Tannic, Complex, Fresh
Cons: Tight
Decant: Yes, needs air to open up and there is some sediment (tartrate crystals)
Price: $17 from Wine Exchange
QPR: Good (out of Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good or Excellent with Fair denoting expectations were met for the price point)


Matt Mauldin said...

I've had a Cahors, but never a Madiran. Sounds about like I would imagine it... Have you ever had the Tannat that Tablas Creek makes? I wonder how 180 degrees different that is from the Madiran?

CabFrancoPhile said...

I tasted the Tablas Creek Tannat at their winery. It was at the end of the tasting--so not the most reliable impression due to palate fatigue--but it seemed more like an ordinary, anonymous dark wine with muted aromas. Not overly tannic, either. Neither was especially rustic or rigidly tannic, though Tablas was probably softer, fleshier and forward.

I'll probably have to try another to see if I can get the 'true' face-smashing tannin effect I was anticipating. But the balance between polish and character is probably spot on with the Erigone for my taste.