Alain Brumont Chateau Bouscasse Madiran Vieilles Vignes 2015


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“As readers will know, I’m now covering the French South West. This is a wine region with a reputation for providing exceptional value for money, and I’m excited at the prospect of highlighting its outstanding features in forthcoming articles. However, before embarking on this project, I wish to alert those of you who have a particular affinity for gutsy, characterful wines of Madiran to a significant development involving the leading producer of the appellation and, indeed, of the whole South West.

The formidable Alain Brumont, an innovative and visionary producer of exceptional dynamism whose properties Château Montus and Château Bouscassé became household names for the whole region on the international stage, has now been joined by his stepson, Antoine Veiry.

Antoine is a deft and accomplished young winemaker who has amassed a wealth of experience from working in Bordeaux (Château Carmes Haut-Brion and Château Mangot), Burgundy (with Maison Joseph Drouhin) and for a number of other estates worldwide. He is now bringing a fresh perspective while remaining steadfastly attached to the estate’s heritage—which includes championing the local Tannat grape variety—and preserving but refining his stepfather’s style.

The soon-to-be-released 2018 will be his debut vintage as winemaker for the wines of Montus and Bouscassé, and it intimates that Veiry is bringing a fresh stylistic impetus to the domaines. From his time in Bordeaux, he picked up the art of preserving a wine’s depth and structure while conferring a velvety texture to its tannins, a quality that is all the more welcome when the tannin-rich Tannat grape is concerned.

In the vineyards, viticulture has become more precise with the help of horses for plowing; each plot is treated individually in function of its soil type, and the emphasis remains on careful picking of each block at the right time, which extends the harvest period.

In the cellar, sulfite additions are now delayed until as late as possible after the conclusion of malolactic fermentation to allow the wines to become more resilient and pure.

The exhilarating result is an inspiring range of wines with considerable youthful appeal but also notable aging potential and which speak clearly of their origins without any excess of extraction or new oak to confuse the message.

In this ongoing transformation, Vignobles Brumont is embracing change to reinvigorate the estate. While this evolution will certainly make these wines more appealing to contemporary tastes, the changes represent refinement and adaptation rather that revolution. If Veiry can repeat this performance, year in and year out, I suspect that Montus and Bouscassé will reemerge as a magnet to draw consumers to the wines of the South West in general, and to those produced from the Tannnat grape in particular.

It should be obvious that I am enthused by Antoine’s contribution as an agent of change. He is a hard-working and skilled vigneron, one who understands the importance of the tiniest details that will make the difference between a good wine and a great one. Despite the challenges posed by the sweltering weather of 2018 and the mildew-laden conditions that prevailed in the vineyards here (as in Bordeaux), the maiden vintage of Montus and Bouscassé under Antoine’s stewardship has proven to be outstanding, even though the well-structured XL cuvée does exhibit the classic formidably robust tannins with which the Tannat grape is associated.

Forthcoming investments will include the construction of a new winery, leading me to have the utmost confidence that Montus et Bouscassé will continue to number among France’s most eminent wines—an assertion fortified by the grandeur of the wines from past vintages such as 1989, 1990, 1985, and 2000, which continue to showcase the estate’s vast potential for quality-driven production.”

Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (08/23)