Day 77 – Norham

Chateau Montus 2010

My name is Marchbanks and I’m a Montus-oholic. The first step is admitting it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every wine I’ve ever tasted by Alain Brumont – Montus, various levels of Bouscassé and especially the one (to date) sublime bottle of la Tyre. I have eight vintages of Montus either cellared or ordered, the most of any wine, I think. This is the oldest – a lovely, rich, plummy, deep thing. The Cabernet Sauvignon might be in there to knock some of the rough edges off the Tannat, but that’s not something I’ve ever felt to be particularly necessary in either the 100% Tannat versions of Bouscassé or the majestic la Tyre (did I mention that I liked that?) Certainly not as much as the Bouza Sin Barrica from Uruguay, where the initial whack is so strong it almost feels like petillance – but more of that down the road towards Cornwall, probably. This Montus is really more like a Malbec turned up to 10.5 if not eleven, which is definitely my kind of wine. And possibly proof that I have a palate with all the subtlety of a flying brick.

It’s a strange thing. When I read about Alain Brumont I get the definite feeling that we probably wouldn’t get on. He seems to be ambitious to the point of ruthlessness and has turned Montus into a glossy, glassy domaine with photogenic shiny cellars and expensive conference centre. He is always looking for gaps in the market and trying to fill them with new wines. Someone I would naturally distrust, in other words. Yet without him one of my favourite domaines on the planet might not even exist. I guess it’s good to have your prejudices challenged successfully from time to time.

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