Alain Brumont, Château Montus & Château Bouscassé South West France.
Producer of the Year 2010
Le Grand Guide des Vins de France 2010 – Bettane & Desseauve
‘Others were there before him, but it was Alain Brumont who put Madiran on the wine map. He left the family domaine at Boucasse in 1980, dissatisfied by his fathers lack of ambition for quality, and set up on his own. In a mere 20 years, Brumont has succeeded by a combination of breathtaking chutzpah and brilliant winemaking in creating the largest fine wine domaine in the south-west and establishing without a doubt that Tannat is a first division quality grape variety. The basic Bouscasse (70 percent Tannat) and Montus (80 percent Tannat) are matured in 50% new wood, and are very fine. The better cuvees, both 100% Tannat and aged in new wood, are brilliant.’
Clive Coates, The Wines and Domaines of France
The appellations of Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl co-exist in the alluvial foothills of the Pyrenees and are located 160 kms almost directly south of Bordeaux. Madiran is the appellation for red wines with the main red wine grape variety being Tannat which is often blended with a little Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc or Fer-Servadou. Tannat retains very good natural acidity and produces very deep and rich wines with remarkable structure and in skilled hands it reveals wines of amazing depth, complexity and concentration of flavour which with age become supple with round textures and fine tannins. These wines can age superbly.
Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl is the appellation for white wines and for the dry version Brumont uses the little known local variety called Petit Courbu which he calls ‘the Viognier of the south-west’. It is an aromatic variety of richness and texture which, unlike Viognier, retains good natural acidity giving rich and exotic wines of great freshness and length. The sweet versons of Pacherenc are typically late harvest with no botrytis and mostly consist of Petit and Gros Mansengs.
2014 Brumont Gros Manseng Sauvignon Blanc, Côtes de Gascogne (Stelvin)
Combines the exotic aromatics and richness and texture of the Gros Manseng with the fresh acidity and structure of Sauvignon blanc. Very attractive with good intensity of flavor and excellent palate feel. Remarkable quality and value for a wine of this level. Very highly recommended.
2013 Château Bouscassé Jardins Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh (sec)
100% Petit Courbu.
‘Grassy notes, mineral, green apple, lemon zest and earthiness. Dry, savoury fruit with a pure lemon and lime character plus freshly cut herbs.’
2013 Château Bouscassé Les Larmes Celestes Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh (500ml)
A blend of Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng and Petit Courbu harvested without botrytis influence. This is a medium-sweet wine with exotic spice, pear and apricot aromas and flavours. Fresh lush and round in texture. Long on the finish. Great acid balance. Stunning value for sweet wine of this quality.
‘Brumont has provided a real challenge to Jurançon and given the world sweet wines of remarkably new balance and flavour.’
Andrew Jefford, The New France
2014 Brumont Rosé, Côtes de Gascogne (Stelvin)
A blend of Tannat, Syrah and Merlot. Very pale delicate pick colour. Perfumed red fruit and floral aromas with freshness and vivacity. Very attractive fine and fresh rose with real delicacy.
2015 Brumont Merlot Tannat, Côtes de Gascogne (Stelvin)
Very attractive plum and spice aromas deliver on to a fresh and medium bodied palate showing supple plummy fruit and fine supple tannins to close.
2011 Tour Bouscassé Madiran (Stelvin)
Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep rich generous perfumed fruit aromas deliver intense deep ripe fruit on the palate showing great length and fine sophisticated tannins to close.
2013 Château Bouscassé Madiran (Stelvin)
50% Tannat, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc yielding 45 hl/ha. Malo is done in barrel and the wine is bottled without filtration. A very perfumed and refined expression of Madiran offering more body and depth than many Bordeaux at prices that reach well above the modest price for this wine. Fragrant with blackcurrants plum and spice. Wonderfully fresh on the palate with remarkably refined tannins.
2010 Château Bouscassé Madiran Vieilles Vignes
This cuvee is produced from very old vines over 50 to 100 years of age from the best terroirs of Bouscassé, vineyards with marbled clay and limestone outcrops. Planted at 7500 vines per hectare, yielding 40-45hl/ha. Some vineyards reputed to have pre-phylloxera vines.
‘Old Vines presents the concentrated, full of vigour and elegance … ‘ 17.5 points, La Revue du Vin de France, The Best Wines of France 2012.
2013 Château Montus Madiran
Made from a blend of 80% Tannat, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon planted on steep south and south-west facing slopes of clay with large pudding stones yielding 5-6 bunches per vine, about 35 hl/ha. Around 60-80% new barrels used for ageing. Malolactic fermentation is done in barrel and aged 12-14 months on lees and the wine is bottled without filtration. A smooth, deep wine, subtle notes of red fruit coulis, fine tannins, and controlled power culminating in an elegant, persistent finish. Wonderful now for its intense vibrant fruit and will age superbly for 20 or more years with good cellaring.
2010 Château Montus Madiran La Tyre
This wine is only released in the very best vintages and hails from a single vineyard, the highest south facing site on the estate. The vineyard is very steep (parts at 40%), receives long sunshine hours and gentle winds from the West. The soil is layered and comprises large pudding stones and reddish clay. There is a staggering 7800 vines/ha producing a “bonsai” effect on the vines. Coupled with three “green harvests” the vines yield an unbelievable 10hl/ha with only 5- 6 bunches per vine.
‘We are under the spell of La Tyre, which combines superb quality fruit, and an expanded frame and a dynamic character: it is a great wine …’ 18.5 points, La Revue du Vin de France, The Best Wines of France 2012.
‘Brumont has pioneered single-vineyard Madiran, with the hugely successful La Tyre.’
Andrew Jefford, Decanter, April 2011.
2010 Château Bouscassé Madiran (sold out)
65% Tannat, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc yielding 45 hl/ha. Malo is done in barrel and the wine is bottled without filtration.
‘Concentrated but sleek, with lively acidity highlighting the crushed dark plum and dark cherry fruit. Underlying layers of graphite, chocolate and mint add good complexity, featuring integrated tannins that ease into the lingering, dried floral finish. Drink now through 2018.’ 91 points, Wine Spectator, June 2015.
2001 Château Bouscassé Madiran Vieilles Vignes (magnum)
‘Full‐bodied, with ripe plum, berry and dark cherry flavors that are accented by rich, spicy notes. The firm finish is redolent of smoke and mineral. Tannat. Best from 2010 through 2013.’ Wine Spectator August 2009.
2010 Château Montus Madiran
‘A concentrated, elegant red, with layers of dried cherry, slate and smoke, showing a good amount of spice. A solid beam of acidity keeps this fresh, delivering a finish of hoisin sauce, chocolate and dried floral flavors. Drink now through 2018.’ 90 points, Wine Spectator, June 2015.
2009 Château Montus Madiran
‘Warm, complex, very long finish, flesh terribly tempting, beautiful and great wine.’ 17 points, Bettane & Desseauve.
2005 Château Montus Madiran La Tyre
‘A big, rich, ripe red from southwest France, with loads of blackberry, dark cherry and spice. The very long finish echoes with Asian spice and smoke. Tannat. Drink now through 2015.’ Wine Spectator 2009.
2001 Château Montus Madiran La Tyre (magnum)
‘Fine colour. Splendid nose. Rich and concentrated and very classy. Quite oaky. Full bodied and very concentrated. Very intense. This is essence of Tannat, but in no way over the top. Very impressive. Needs time. Excellent. Drink 2013-2040.’ Clive Coates, The Vine 2004.
Winemaking developments since 2000
This decade has seen many changes at these combined estates. Most notably the appointment in 2001 of winemaker/oenologist Fabrice Dubosc (a native Gasgcogne) who has bought a wealth of experience and contributed towards a refinement in the styles of both the red wine and white wines. For the white wines they are bottled earlier with less use of oak and subsequently show fresher more vibrant personalities. These are now a revelation and are gaining a remarkable new following.
The red wines have also benefitted with more sophisticated handling of oak and tannins (without resorting to micro-ox) and while remaining true to their origins the wines have more polish and purity than ever. Finally the 2000 vintage saw the inception of the wine from the individual vineyard La Tyre, a south-facing hillside vineyard filled with large ‘pudding stones’ (similar to Chateauneuf-du-Pape).
More aged magnums, jeroboams and larger formats are also available on request.