2005 Madiran AOC
Tannat •Madiran AOC
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection is the benchmark for wines from this region and is produced by one of Frances most famous winemakers. The Wine Spies have secured a very special but extremely limited allocation of this most pure expression of Tannat for our operatives. This is a serious wine for serious aficionados and connoisseurs.
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Mission Codename: Drinking with a Legend
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an allocation of the legendary Madiran from Chateau Montus
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Chateau Montus
Wine Subject: 2005 Madiran AOC
Winemaker: Alain Brumont
Perhaps the most famous appellation in the southwest of France, Madiran is home to one of France’s most famous winemakers, Alain Brumont. It is his genius that has tamed the expressive and often overpowering Tannat into a wine that rivals its northern neighbors from Bordeaux. This AOC is located in the foothills of the Pyrenees (Basque country) near the town of Pau. Madiran AOC wines must be at least 40% Tannat with the addition of a small portion of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Fer. In some occasions, and although its contrary to the AOC’s formal regulations, some of these wines are 100% Tannat. Today’s selection is 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple and almost black with a dark thick and inky core. When swirled the intensity of the color clings to the edge of the glass and slowly forms into thin legs deep with color.
Smell – Bold and intense with aromas of both raspberries and blackberries with an earthy undertone. Components of wild fennel, toasted oak, leather and orange zest and a tiny hint of lavender round out the complex and deep bouquet.
Feel – Rich and concentrated and definitely masculine on the attack, but also shows finesse with firm but fine tannins, excellent acidity and minerality. Almost chewy, this wine sticks to the palate, the sides of your mouth and lingers long through to the finish.
Taste – Ripe blackberry, dark cherry and raspberry that are well integrated with flavors of new oak, a hint of clove spice, smoke and tobacco and lingering flavors reminiscent of this wine’s nose.
Finish – Extraordinarily long with great fruit, oak and spice. The finish of this wine is perhaps most dominated by its tannic structure and minerality that just keeps going and going.
Conclusion – The 2005 Chateau Montus Madiran lives up to its legend and is a focused wine that truly expresses not only the power of the Tannat but also its elegance and finesse. Tasting this wine, you will be hit with the realization that you are drinking a wine that is the culmination of lifetime of a passion by winemaker Alain Brumont. This is the kind of wine that will accompany even the boldest and richest of foods including roast duck, Merguez (Moroccan) sausage or just a simple and perfectly grilled rib-eye steak.
This wine will cellar for upwards of 15 years and we recommend decanting it for immediate enjoyment.
It was a couple years back that I originally tasted the wines from legendary winemaker Alain Brumont. Agent Terroir was escorting me through some of France’s best vineyards as we also enjoyed the Tour de France. If you are a fan of the race, it is perhaps one of the most magnificent displays of athletic ability through the largest and most beautiful of ‘stadiums’, the entirety of the country.
As someone who has followed the race for nearly two decades my personal favorite are the mountain stages of in the Pyrenees and the Alps. But its the Pyrenees that brings out the true excitement. Tens of thousands of mostly Basque cycling fans line the narrow one lane mountain roads cheering on their countrymen to the prestigious stage wins in the most difficult of mountain climbs.
It was one of those stages that started in the village of Pau . We arrived in the evening before the start start and Agent Terroir wanted to take me on a very special vineyard trip. We would head north for a short drive to the appellation most famous of its bold, tannic and expressive Tannat and once there we would taste the wines of famed winemaker Alain Brumont. The vineyards, steep hillsides clay and ancient Pyrenees stone and gravel soil. This coupled with an aspect and southern exposure ensure maximum sunshine. Add to that a grape that many consider an indomitable force with another indomitable force in winemaking and you’re starting to get the idea about today’s unique selection.
The 2005 Chateau Montus Madiran AOC is one of those very special wines. Certainly not a wine for everyone, but if you are a fan of big bold expressive reds that have a ton of character then this is a wine for you.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Madrian AOC in the southwest of France can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
“These are unreal wines that are purely made, remarkably rich, and so complete and promising that they cannot be ignored.” – Robert Parker
“Alain Brumont is simply the best and most forward-thinking vintner in Madiran” Wine Spectator
“Five Star Outstanding Estate” – The New France
Alain Brumont is top 10 French for Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer.
About This Wine:
When Alain Brumont bought Château Montus in 1980, the South West vineyards were in full stagnation. The Tannat vines had been pulled out and replaced by cereals. Being an enthusiastic winegrower and devoted to his vineyard, Alain Brumont started to look for the ideal terroirs for planting Tannat, the emblematic Madiran grape variety.
20 years later, he became the proprietor of almost all the great terroirs of the appellation. With relentless hard work and strong convictions, he managed to prove to the world that great wines could be produced in Madiran and that they could equal Bordeaux wines.
Château Montus, a blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon is a Madiran with round and soft tannins, an example of balance and finesse, with perfect expression of the grape.
About The Tannat Grape:
Today it competes with the Cabernet Sauvignon, the Bordeaux Merlot, the Bourgogne Pinot and the Syrah from the Northern Côtes du Rhône (Cotes Rôties, Hermitage). The Tannat produces dark wines with discreet and powerful fruit, deep wines always well-balanced that beat all longevity records.
About The Winery:
In 1980, Alain Brumont acquired Château Montus. On this terroir made up of large round pebbles, situated in the finest Madiran Crus, he replanted the Tannat, which was venerated in the 18th Century, when no one really believed any longer in this grape variety considered too rustic because of its too great a yield, and which, once diluted, only produced astringency and bitterness.
In 1985, a great terroir was detected where the Tannat was very different from the others and was given the name Cuvée Prestige. This cuvée allowed Château Montus to elevate itself amongst the great wines. Montus Prestige, the first Madiran made from 100% Tannat, is entirely aged in new oak barrels. A revolution at the time, that all the famous wine tasters throughout the world nicknamed Petrus de Madiran.
Another revolution soon followed. Betting on the Petit Courbu, a little-known white grape variety from the Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Appellation, Alain Brumont surprised everyone with this dry white Montus, astonishing by its concentration its volume on the palate and its finesse comparable to a great white Hermitage.
About Alain Brumont:
“To each vine, he gave a name” Didier Dagueneau
A great tribute from a winegrower with exceptional standards of which Alain Brumont is very proud, as it illustrates the perfect timing with which Alain Brumont works his vineyard. Brumont vineyards are the expression of exceptional terroirs and very old outstanding local grape varieties.
Alain Brumont, extraordinary winegrower, has never ceased to develop these terroirs and the grape varieties of his region, for which he has been rewarded and has placed him in the same category as some of the greatest winegrowers in the world.
Today, thanks to this passionate and visionary man, creator of a unique style, his wines represent the generous Gascogne and the Pyrenees altogether imposing and delicate.
Today, nobody doubts his success, which marks the winegrower world.