Alain Brumont single-handedly proved that world-class wines could be made in Madiran. He inherited Chateau Bouscassé from his father in 1979, but just a year later purchased Chateau Montus. In 1985 he produced his first vintage of Montus Prestige, a 100% Tannat wine that astonished the critics.
He now farms almost 200 hectares, with a maniacal attention to detail. Two thirds of the vineyard surface is covered in native herbs and plants, only cut back after they have flowered and re-seeded. The goal is a richly diverse ecosystem. The rows are oriented to give maximum exposure to both sides of the vine, with the sun overhead at 3p.m. to eliminate roasting the berries. Each vine receives 5 to 7 interventions, with de-budding, leaf-thinning and green harvest where needed.
In the cellar there is no pumping-over during fermentation, just punching-down and treading, a process now done by robot. Only the free-run juice is used in order to ensure finesse and elegant tannins. Wine from the best terroirs are aged in oak barrels. The goal is that the oak should never be obvious but merely frame the terroir.