Then ten years ago Alain Brumont phoned Fabrice and asked him to come and work for him and he has been with Alain ever since. When Alain Brumont started in 1979 he inherited 17ha from his father. Today he has between 240-250 ha.
Then on to three Madirans from the very hot 2003 vintage: the soft and concentrated Bouscassé Vieilles Vignes (£29.75), Montus Prestige (£44) and Montus La Tyre (£75), the single vineyard. Of the three I enjoyed the Montus best as although it was powerful and concentrated its had greater freshness and acidity in its long finish. At 15% La Tyre had lots of soft power and concentration but I'm not convinced that it is worth the extra money.
We finished the reds with the attractive 2000 La Tyre (n/a) fresher and less opulent than the trio of 2003s.
Then a couple of sweet wines strictly speaking served in the wrong order as Fabrice had to be persuaded to show the 2004 Pacherenc Larmes Célestes, which really had been included in case there was a problem with the Frimaire 2000, made from grapes picked in December. There wasn't a problem and the Frimaire was magnificent with lovely concentrated, rich citric flavours but with a super freshness. The 2004 Larmes Célestes was picked in October so it is a very different, lighter style making an attractive apéritif.
I have met Alain Brumont on a number of occasions – the first time in 1988 and then interviewed him in 1989, I think. Then my very initial impression was of a diffident, shy man. That impression is very rapidly dispelled as Alain warms up and his steely determination and passion become evident. He has certainly transformed the image of Madiran and Pacherenc.