By Adriana Ermter
Courtesy of its warm and sun-drenched climate, the South of France is synonymous with vineyards overflowing with plump and flavourful grapes. Stomped and aged, the exquisite fruit is transformed into white and red wines that are poured into empty glasses, lifted, swirled and sni. ed, then clinked across tables with a shared nod and a “santé” before being savoured and deemed “magnifi que.” As they should be, too, particularly when their bottles brandish the Brumont label.
A family name, Brumont wine has, one could say, been a part of French culture since 1836 when the first stone was marked and placed in the creation of what would become the label’s landmark, Château Bouscassé.
“HE HAS ESTABLISHED MUCH MORE THAN A BRAND OR A CONCEPT. HE HAS CREATED AN ICONIC BRUMONT TASTE.”
In 1979, with visions of excellence and innovation, Alain Brumont stepped into the brand’s role of vintner. A year later, he expanded both his journey into creating world-class wine and his father’s estate with the purchase of Château Montus. Today, 76-year-old Alain Brumont is a legend within the industry, his company boasting two vineyards in southwest France, both with diverse terroirs, grapes and bottles. “At Château Bouscassé, the diversity of clay terroirs produces deep, elegant and complex wines, with roundness and subtle tannins,” explains Antoine Veiry, the current owner of Alain Brumont and stepson of its founder. “At Château Montus, river stone terroirs create elegant wines with freshness and a long fi nish. It is on this kind of soil that the best aging potential cuvées are developed.”
Soil that is carefully tended to, never trod on with machines or vehicles, shares space with bugs and birds and is often dug deep into to plant saplings or place pieces of wood to protect the vines and their growing grapes. It’s a technique the label employs to help preserve the biodiversity of the land its vineyards grow upon, complete with access to natural sunlight, flora and fauna. At the foresight of Alain Brumont, who believed that if trees could grow organically then so could grapes, all chemical sprays and pesticides were halted in 1985, allowing the grapes to flourish naturally. This, along with the brand’s wood-to-vine process, is part and parcel of what makes the Madiran region unique in its grape production. “One wood, one vine is the watchword of the team and the most powerful advantage for growing vineyards in the region,” a¡ rms Veiry. “As we have the chance to grow the vines on the slopes, we can have a purity of soils by adding a tree to a vine planted, protecting and sharing resources such as nutrients, water, sun and shadow.”
Each row of vines is purposefully planted 20 centimetres apart using just one cane for bunches, not the typical two. Additionally, instead of the standard 15 bunches per cane, a mere five to seven bunches are encouraged, forcing all the vine’s energy and growth to go directly to the grapes. It’s just another way Alain Brumont adapted his vineyards to benefit from the Madiran region and its central position between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. “This richness of soils and this complexity of terroir bring balanced, complex and structured wines,” Veiry says. “With this influence from the mountains and the ocean, the sloping lands of Madiran have di. erent expositions from south to north and east to west allowing the vines to fully develop.” Successfully developed, too, with undisputed tannins and flavour. With approximately 30 bottles combined, the label o. ers everything from Château Bouscassé Vieilles Vignes’ rich and spicy blackberry aromatic red to Château Montus’ creamy and energetic apricot-fuelled white. Both are award-winning and longtime favourites alongside the Château Montus Cuvée Prestige 1985, Château Montus La Tyre and Château Montus Dry White. Prices range from 40 to 150 Euros per bottle. “Alain Brumont, visionary and perfectionist by dint of research and innovation, has created wines of very high quality,” adds Veiry. “He has established much more than a brand or a concept. He has created an iconic Brumont taste.”