2006 Vignobles Brumont Fier d’etre Gascon Tannat-Merlot

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

Backgrounder:

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

Mission Report:

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.

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