1995 Château Montus "Cuvée Prestige" Madiran
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In the mid-seventies, I paid a visit to the rustic appellation of Madiran, several hours south of Bordeaux. I met proprietor Alain Brumont, but had no way of knowing at the time that he would emerge as the appellation's most energetic and quality-driven producer. Brumont has always produced very good wine for near-term drinking, but the 1995 Montus Cuvee Prestige, a 100% Tannat (the local grape), aged in 100% new oak, is a wine for drinking around 2010 or later. In fact, most readers would be advised to buy this wine for a child born in 1995, as opposed to purchasing it for personal consumption. As the grape's name implies, it is a tannic wine, although this is not a wine that is harsh and astringent without the balancing fruit. The color is an opaque black. The wine possesses a magnificent, sweet, pure nose of cassis, black plums, and subtle new oak notes. Extraordinarily deep and full-bodied, with layers of concentrated, jammy fruit, a formidable tannin level, and a monster finish, this is unquestionably one of the great 1995s (and I am including all my top picks from Bordeaux). Do not be surprised if it outlives anything produced by Montus's more renowned siblings to the north. The Cuvee Prestige will demand 15-20 years of cellaring. These are unreal wines that are purely made, remarkably rich, and so complete and promising that they cannot be ignored. (RP)
This is a big wine, muscular not fat, with deep color, very firm tannins and concentrated plum, tobacco and earth flavors that are closed right now. Has style and personality, but needs patience. (TM)
Tannat is a red-wine grape whose origins lie in the Basque country, on the border between France and Spain. Here, in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains, the terrain is rough and rugged, so it is only fitting that Tannat should create wines which are equally deep, dark, dry and rustic. Although Tannat is still used among the foothills here, the most famous Tannat wine is made a little way to the north, in Madiran.