Domaine Capmartin, Tannat, AOP Madiran, France, 2020
Under the skilled and insightful guidance of Simon Capmartin, his Madiran and Pacherenc de Vic-Bil Domaine has kicked this most traditional of appellations into a new, more progressive age.
Changes to both the management of his vines and the winery have led to a range of wines which showcase the quality of the appellations whilst brilliantly offering a unique and refreshingly modern twist. Certified organic for the best part of a decade, Simon now has his sights firmly set on biodynamic certification. Natural, low-intervention winemaking is the very essence of his approach. Vinification with no added sulphur, all wild ferments, plus lighter extraction of tannins makes his Madiran Tannat a step apart from the region’s more usual impenetrable blockbusters. With the white wines, unique blends under AOC Pacherenc de Vic-Bilh, using the rare and cherished Petit Corbu variety, is wonderfully complex, whilst IGT Lou Piaf enlivens the palate with electric sharp acidity … certainly a winemaker to watch with interest.
The Tannat vines age from 40 years old to Prephyloxeric vines. Clay gravel and silicious soils support East and North facing rows of vines. The yield is around 40 to 50 hl/ha. Cover crops are grown under the rows to avoid soil compaction as well as nutrient contribution, alternated by tillage or natural grassing every other row if necessary. Pruning is simple guyot, and some leaves are removed to improve the light under the canopy.
The grapes are destemmed and then pressed half way through the fermentation for less extraction. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation is completed in concrete tanks and then aged for 12 months in tank before bottling.
No oak ageing
A supple and fruity red Madiran, greedy and delicate, with supple and beautiful and well integrated tannins.
Red meats in a rich sauce, or cold cuts from the delicatessen.
6 x 75cl
Award: Wine Anorak 91 Points