WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Sue Courtney » Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:44 am

High in 'procyanidins', the wines from Madiran in the South of France by being extolled for their healthy qualities, particulary the wines made with the Tannat grape.

I got to taste three, all made by Alain Brumont, and I would also extol them for their delicious taste.

Alain Brumont Torus 2004
Deep purple red. Concentrated blackcurrant and blackberry aromas with a dark savoury layer and deep, dark, savoury flavours with lush spicy oak, velvety tannins, concentrated blackberry and blackcurrant fruits and a tarry depth. Powerful, but not overpowering with a smoky finish and hints of liquorice and chocolate, this modern well-made wine is a blend of 50% Tannat, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc with 12 months in oak (50% older barrels, 50% oak vats). 14% alc. NZ$25.

Chateau Bouscasse 2002
Deeper purple black. Meaty, earthy, dried herb aromas with seasoned oak and hints of blackberry then in the palate cassis and sweet cedary oak cruise above an earthy, wild bramble backbone. It shows some maturity, the powerful tannins are dry, and pepper, liquorice and fruitcake spices linger on the bright, lifted finish with the dried herb characters coming through again on the lingering aftertaste. Full-bodied and intense with a French rusticity throughout, it's made from 65% Tannat, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc with 12-14 months in 1-2 year old oak. 14% alc. NZ$31.40.

Chateau Montus 2002
Ever deeper, inkier in colour with a deep, dark, tarry, savoury aromas, this 100% Tannat wine is powerful with concentrated, macerated red and black berry fruits that cut through the initial upfront tannins. It's a lush, full-bodied wine with sweet vanillin oak, black fruits, tar, hints of liquorice, chocolate and spice and although the tannins are big, there is a whimsical beauty throughout. Modern and clean, I have to confess that if I had tasted this blind I probably wouldn't have initially picked it as coming from France! Matured in oak (60% new, 40% one year old) for 12-14 months. 14.5% alc. NZ$44.50.

Imported into New Zealand by http://www.lifestylewines.co.nz - the website has lots of interesting 'Madiran wine is good for your health' information too.
User avatar
Sue Courtney
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Tim York » Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:51 am

I had made a mental note to look out some 1998 or 1999 tasting notes on a Brumont vertical but this interesting WTN disappeared rapidly out of sight and mind. So only this morning did I dig into my files but alas my notes on that tasting are missing.

From your notes I think that Brumont must have made the style of his wines somewhat more accessible in their youth without losing their essential character because I remember the tasting in question one of the most difficult which can recall. There was a lot to admire in the wines in terms of substance, body and above all structure but those less than 6-7 years old were scarcely palatable and, although the acidity and tannins of the older wines became less aggressive and the whole was better balanced, they remained difficult to love, at least without food.

I have a number of vintages from the 90s and even a few bottles of 88 and 89 in my cellar and their characteristically vigorous and tangy flavour and structured austerity goes very well with the food from their region, such as rich duck and goose dishes (e.g. confit d’oie) and the famous stew with beans (cassoulet toulousain). Nevertheless I would not so far rate any of these bottles in the top rank of my wine experiences.

Some people, particular those ITB like the couple who organised that tasting, are fervent admirers of Madiran and claim that Montus Prestige and Bouscassé VV are the equals of, say, Château Latour, at a fraction of the price but for me there is a deficit of charm.

It looks from your notes as if I should take a look at Brumont’s more recent vintages.
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
 
Posts: 3862
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:00 pm

Sue Courtney wrote:Chateau Bouscasse 2002
Deeper purple black. Meaty, earthy, dried herb aromas with seasoned oak and hints of blackberry then in the palate cassis and sweet cedary oak cruise above an earthy, wild bramble backbone. It shows some maturity, the powerful tannins are dry, and pepper, liquorice and fruitcake spices linger on the bright, lifted finish with the dried herb characters coming through again on the lingering aftertaste. Full-bodied and intense with a French rusticity throughout, it's made from 65% Tannat, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc with 12-14 months in 1-2 year old oak. 14% alc. NZ$31.40.


Sue, I have a bottle of the 2001 Ch. Bouscasse that I plan to drink soon, so I was very interested to read your notes. I am curious as to your source for the details on the blend percentages and oak aging. My pre-tasting notes simply state this wine would be a blend of those three grapes, but I had no further details available to me.

Thanks -- Clark
User avatar
ClarkDGigHbr
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: Gig Harbor, WA

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:35 pm

Thanks Sue. Very good, up-to-date notes. I too have some recent vintages in the cellar, my fave winestore downtown stocks all 3 wines!!
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9497
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Sue Courtney » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:15 pm

Tim York wrote:Some people, particular those ITB like the couple who organised that tasting, are fervent admirers of Madiran and claim that Montus Prestige and Bouscassé VV are the equals of, say, Château Latour, at a fraction of the price ...

I wouldn't go that far. I imagine Ch. Latour would have an elegance these wines don't have. In my original notes, I noted that Montus 2002 reminded me of something almost Australian with its rich sweet oak, chocolate and spice, its lush full-bodied texture and modern, clean winemaking. That's about as far away from Ch. Latour as you can get.
Bouscasse is quite rustic and I've never though of Ch. Latour as rustic, either.

Tim York wrote:It looks from your notes as if I should take a look at Brumont’s more recent vintages.


Tim, I think you should.
Last edited by Sue Courtney on Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Sue Courtney
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Sue Courtney » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:32 pm

ClarkDGigHbr wrote:Sue, I have a bottle of the 2001 Ch. Bouscasse that I plan to drink soon, so I was very interested to read your notes. I am curious as to your source for the details on the blend percentages and oak aging. My pre-tasting notes simply state this wine would be a blend of those three grapes, but I had no further details available to me.

Thanks -- Clark

Clark, the assemblage came from the website I mentioned - http://www.lifestylewines.co.nz - but only for the wines they are selling here in New Zealand. I thought I had found Alain Brumont's website - but for the life of me can't seem to find it now.
User avatar
Sue Courtney
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Paul B. » Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:11 am

Sue, many thanks for the amazing notes. I love wines like these, for wine is not only something I drink for taste but for its health-giving properties too - and as you probably know, I love Tannat.

I think the Bouscasse might be available in Ontario - must take a look.

Cheers
Hybrid Wines Online:
http://hybridwines.blogspot.ca
User avatar
Paul B.
Hybrid Guru
 
Posts: 2024
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:38 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Tim York » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:18 pm

Re Alain Brumont's website -

it is "Coming Soon", so no varietal and wood ageing information there yet . However I did find a most interesting and informative note, for those who read French, on a tasting tutored by Alain Brumont at Grains Nobles in Paris. the link is http://www.grainsnobles.fr/index.php?op ... &Itemid=63
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
 
Posts: 3862
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Sue Courtney » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:57 pm

Tim - surprisingly easy to understand the French tasting notes.
I thought there was an English version, as there was an English flag on the left hand side when I scrolled down the page, but that seemed to just translate the home page. :(
User avatar
Sue Courtney
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Sue Courtney » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:59 pm

Paul B. wrote:Sue, many thanks for the amazing notes. I love wines like these, for wine is not only something I drink for taste but for its health-giving properties too - and as you probably know, I love Tannat.

I think the Bouscasse might be available in Ontario - must take a look.

Cheers


Paul, knowing your tastes from this board, I think you will like the Bouscasse.
Have you heard of the book, 'The Wine Diet', by Prof. Corder. The Madiran wines play a prominent role in his diet.
Cheers,
Sue
User avatar
Sue Courtney
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Paul B. » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:19 pm

Sue - lo and behold, I already have had it! :oops:

Over a year ago, to be precise: My note on the '00 Bouscassé

Knew the name sounded familiar :roll:
Hybrid Wines Online:
http://hybridwines.blogspot.ca
User avatar
Paul B.
Hybrid Guru
 
Posts: 2024
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:38 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: WTN: Three Healthy French Reds

Postby Sue Courtney » Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:09 pm

Paul B. wrote:Sue - lo and behold, I already have had it! :oops:

Over a year ago, to be precise: My note on the '00 Bouscassé

Knew the name sounded familiar :roll:

That 2000 sounds like a real monster of a wine. The 2002 may seem more approachable in comparison.
User avatar
Sue Courtney
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ


Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests