ALAIN BRUMONT (Châteaux Montus & Bouscasse), Maumusson
Without doubt, the leading estate in Madiran for the last 20 years, owner, Alain Brumont has done an enormous amount of work for the appellation. He set the example by reducing yields, increasing significantly the density of vines per hectare, using only the best available grafts, buds selection, adapting grape varieties to the best suited terroir, harvesting perfectly ripe grapes and oak-ageing most of his wine.
The estates comprises of 3 main types of terroirs. Montus, with its steep rocky slopes, facing
South, bathed in intense sunshine, with large pebbles and yellow and red clay subsoil. Bouscassé with its fine clay with yellow and white streaks, covering over cracked limestone. Sandstone terroirs line the edges with an iron oxide and manganese concretion, producing more subtle wines. Gascogne is a relatively new terroir, arguably discovered by Alain Brumont who has been experimenting on it for the past 10 years.
Situated in Haut Armagnac, this terroir named « Peyrusquet » consists of grey clay and crumbled limestone. The layers of cracked clay a few centimetres deep, nevertheless perfect up to 1 to 2 metres in depth cover limestone cliffs. This terroir is often compared to the Bordeaux right bank and the Gros Manseng and Sauvignon vines produce fresh and bright wines.
This decade has seen many changes at these combined estates. Most notably the appointment in 2001 of winemaker/oenologist Fabrice Dubosc (a native Gascogne) 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 benefited 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 Châteauneuf‐du‐Pape)
Alain Brumont was awarded Bettane/Desseauve Guide des Vins de France, 2010 Winegrower of the year.
Decanter February 2012 ‘Top 10 French Estate for value’
Château Bouscassé is a blend of Tannat (65%) Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc. Ripe, spicy, dark fruits on the nose showing some sweet oak. Surprisingly approachable palate, full of ripe, sweet, primary fruit enveloping a core of ripe, fine tannins. This has lovely structure, piles of lush texture and sensible extract. Delicious liquorice and blackberry nuances of flavour.
Irish Times bottle of the week Saturday 2nd March 2013