Alain Brumont (Château Montus)
If Alain Brumont didn't invent Madiran, it is largely thanks to him that it still exists and is thriving. He began in general farming and was driving tractors from the age of 16. Wine, though, was a passion and against all the odds he managed to create an estate from scratch and with no money.
This was Montus, which with the '85 vintage took the world by storm.
For Alain, the key was to understand the land, in other words terroir, and to match each soil type and exposition with the right grape variety. Today, this might seem unsurprising but 30 years ago was almost unheard of here. Petit Manseng, tannat and cabernet franc are all grape varieties with strength of character that are a match for this incredible wine pioneer.
Madiran is red only and is made using a majority of tannat. White grapes are also grown here and these are turned into a wine with a separate appellation name: Pacherenc de Vic Bihl; and Alain has been a pioneer here as well, pushing out the boundaries with ever more concentrated wines.