An exploration of wine

716. Château Montus, XL Madiran, 1996

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Book 4 Wine 716

€39.92; 12.5%

Picked up at the ‘Cave of Delights’ in France, then drunk with the beef stew at Dad’s actual 70th. I had a feeling this would be a food wine, and it not only needed it, but was the preferred by all – despite its still-robust tannic backbone. The oak structure was quite notable, but this was nevertheless a very good 100% Tannat Madiran. Which could have gone on for another decade, I’d guess. Deep ruby-garnet (still holding youthfulness). Wood-spice and oak-smoke overtones, opening into a savoury dark fruit nose. Full-bodied, with pronounced savoury dark fruit and more oak spice. At least medium+ tannins – chalkiness suggesting some from the oak too – in spite of 17 years’ maturation! Medium+ length. Not as good as the 2001 Prestige, but still noteworthy.

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