(2020) Alain Brumont's Montus is one of the superstar wines of the Madiran appellation in South West France. Mostly Tannat with a litle Cabernet Sauvignon, it spends 12 to 14 months in barriques, which are 80% new. It's a true vin de garde, so this 12-year-old is just hitting its stride. It throws a lot of sediment so decanting is recommended. I also decanted it around 90 minutes before serving. Deep, plum and mulberry colour, the nose refined with graphite and taut black fruit, quite meaty and a little bit spicy. In the mouth a delightfully digestible wine, sour plum and Asian spice into soy flavours, the dark stripe of chocolate to the tannins and firm acidity gives agility, the mid-palate builds fruit sweetness, before a long, again quite spicy finish. Terrific with rib-eye. Price quoted is for the most recent vintage at time of review. Use the wine-searcher link to see all available vintages.
(2020) The blend for the top red is 75% Tannat, 15% Pinenc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Again from limestone and clay, but also sandy soils, typical of the Bas Armagnac region. A powerful nose of black and sour cherry, with some cool and elegant graphite character. Lots of smoothness in texture, plenty of tannin and bright cherry, great mid-palate sweetness, but the structure builds and grips to the finish, staying fresh and grippy, concentrated and delicious, and surely with ageing potential.