2003 Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh
Petit Courbu • Appellation Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh
France: Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh
What we say
TOP SECRET ALERT: Today’s wine is extremely rare and we have a very small allocation. If you are a white wine aficionado, pick up a few bottles (see bonus on the left). You won’t be disappointed with this well structured, complex and unique dry white wine.
Mission Codename: Who? Petit Courbu
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Discover the unique white wines of the villages in the Southwest France’s Madiran
Mission Status: In Progress
Current Winery: Chateau Montus
Wine Subject: 2003 Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec
Winemaker: Alain Brumont
Awards and Accolades:
Alain Brumont: Top 10 Best French Winemakers (Decanter, Parker’s Guide, Wine Spectator)
87 Wine Spectator – A rich, full-bodied white, with lots of quince, pear and butterscotch flavors that carry through to the fresh, mineral-filled finish. Drink now through 2010. Only 300 cases imported. –KM
Featured in the latest issue of Wine Spectator, Alain Brumont is considered the master winemaker of Madiran. Known mainly for making world class wines from the difficult Tannat grape, today’s wine is from the equally obscure Petit Courbu. Alain Brumont’s philosophy is summed up in the article “There isn’t one rule for enology and there isn’t one law for grapegrowing. You have to adapt it for your vines, your wine and yourself” (Wine Spectator, Oct. 15, 2007).
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful straw yellow and golden with a heavier viscosity of similar whites.
Smell – Sweet aroma followed by tart granny smith apples and honey.
Feel – Smooth and buttery, a complete and complex mouth feel that lingers through to the finish.
Taste – The bouquet deceives as this wine is dry, rich and slightly buttery. Uniquely smooth fruit and a hint of oakiness and smoked nuts.
Finish – A velvety finish that doesn’t require an immediate follow-up sip. This wine lingers nicely.
Conclusion – Being a relatively unknown varietal, Petit Courbu is sure to please lovers of both Chardonnay as well as Sauvignon Blanc. It highlights the strengths of each and shines in its own unique flavor characteristics. This is a solid wine that is perfect for a warm afternoon and has the complexity to enhance even the strongest of cheeses.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Chateau Montus can be seen in this satellite photo
Wine Spies Technical Wine Analysis:
Appellation: Appellation Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec Controlee
Varietal: 100% Petit Courbu
What the winery says
SPECIAL SPY BONUS: As a special with this wine we are including a Free Copy with all orders of three or more bottles of The Instant Wine Connoisseur – this book is full of excellent tasting information and recipes that compliment the various wines described. A $20 value – yours free. But act fast supplies are limited! PLUS we have Free Ground Shipping on orders of six or more bottles (you get the book and free shipping). Use the promotion code during checkout.
This wine is 100% Petit Corbu grapes, fermented and aged on its fine lees in new oak barrels. The wine has a lovely straw yellow colour, the nose is buttery, with mushroom and toasty hints. Well balanced, complex, with a toasty nutty richness and with an excellent length of great finesse. Wine of excellent ageing potential. It demonstrates perfect balance for a dry white wine of keeping potential.
The wines of South West France are inevitably overshadowed by the richness and fame of the grand crus of Bordeaux, arguably the wine capital of Europe, if not the world. And yet for the lover of wines searching away from the celebrated clarets there is much to discover and taste.
The Madiran area has, however, a surprise for the discerning wine-drinker: its white wines. These are known by another Appellation Controlée: Pacherenc de Vic Bilh. A curious name, but easily explained: pacherenc is vine in the old tongue, and Vic Bilh is another village in the area.
Belonging neither to the Bordelais nor to the Mediterranean although carrying a characteristic South-western accent, the many vineyards of the South West bring us wines of character. From Bordeaux to Naurouze, from the Massif Central to the Pyrenees, a wide range of soils host typical grape varieties such as the Négrette, the Gros Manseng, or the Duras. Whether robust from Madiran or light from Fronton the red wines are the perfect compliment for the local cuisine. The exceptional Monbazillac, Gaillac or Jurançon open up new horizons for white wine enthusiasts.
After a considerable amount of work, experience and reflection, famed winemaker Alain Brumont has finally "achieved” a wine that suits his requirements. It identifies new rules of growth and vinification: a progress chart shows the extraordinary qualities he felt existed in such a noble variety. These, combined harmoniously with Madiran’ s microclimat and the particular texture of the soil, allows the Tannat vine to transcend viticultural rules specially made by the winegrower himself. Read more about Alain Brumont Domaines et Château on www.montus-madiran.com