2006 Fier d'etre Gascon Tannat-Merlot
Red Blend •Gascony
What we say
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Today’s selection from famed winemaker Alain Brumont is only available in the United States through The Wine Spies. If you’re a fan of these unique wines, then be sure to place your order early. Our allocation is very limited.
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Mission Codename: Drinking with a Legend – Part 2
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of Alain Brumont’s Tannat-Merlot VDP
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Vignobles Brumont
Wine Subject: 2006 Fier d’etre Gascon Tannat-Merlot
Winemaker: Alain Brumont
The southwest of France, 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. The Gascony region, made famous by Alexandre Dumas and the King’s Musketeers has tremendous diversity of varietals and its climate is primarily influenced by the Atlantic ocean. Today’s unique and exclusive selection is 50% Tannat and 50% Merlot.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Intense and deep garnet with ruby reflections through its dark but clear core. Along the edges the color lightens slightly to a ruby-red color and when swirled, slow fat legs hang for a moment then accelerate and thin as the descend downward.
Smell – Bold earthy and spicy red fruit including raspberry, red cherry and plum that are well integrated in a balanced manner with exotic spice, a touch of funkiness and subtle herbal notes.
Feel – This full-bodied and dry wine is initially smooth, then at mid-palate the medium-firm, ripe grained and textured tannins and kick of acidity and spice spreads across the tongue and lingers into the finish.
Taste – Spicy, earthy and fleshy red fruit including raspberry, red cherry and plum are layered over a base of cayenne pepper and other exotic spice, fresh herbal and funky earthy notes. Touches of dark chocolate and toasted oak round out flavors of this wine.
Finish – Clean with lingering spice and ripe tannic texture that frames the vivid fruit just long enough to inspire another sip.
Conclusion – The 2006 Brumont Fier d’etre Gascon Tannat-Merlot is a very nice expression of Tannat that when blended with the rounder and softer Merlot lets the bold structure and flavors through without being overly tannic. A very approachable wine that will pair well with spicy and fatty foods
Below is a transcript of our original mission when we visited the region in search of Alain Brumont’s famed Madiran AOC, also made with the indomitable Tannat grape.
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 heart of the Gascony region lies the historic town of Armagnac which 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:
Alain Brumont has always been fascinated by the Gascony region. For many years he has been working to select the best terroirs in this region. His skills and knowledge were articulated in the varietal selection of each parcel of land.
Here the Tannat and Merlot grapes blending is made before the vinification in order to have a complex and balanced wine characterised by fleshy, fineness and candied fruits aromas.
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.
REGION: Gascogne, France
TERROIR: Chalky – Clay hillsides located in Ténazère, one of the best soil in Gascogne.
GRAPE VARIETIES: 50% Tannat, 50% Merlot
VINIFICATION: Pre-fermentation maceration by cold
Fermentation temperature is 28°
Maceration: between 2 and 3 weeks
Quick bottling to preserve the fruit