SW France night - Camin Larredya 19, Montus Prestige and Berthoumieu 00

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Julian Marshall
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SW France night - Camin Larredya 19, Montus Prestige and Berthoumieu 00

#1 Post by Julian Marshall »

I don't often drink wines from the South-West, but these showed me what I have been missing:

Camin Larredya - La Part Davant - Jurançon 2019

I had heard about this producer (Jean-Marc Grussaute) a lot recently, from several mentions in La Revue des Vins de France, plus an excellent post by Stephan Bauer on Vinous, so I finally bought a couple of one of his wines to try.

This is an extremely interesting wine. The colour is quite a full yellow, the nose is just incredible - very intense pineapple, which I could smell as soon as the cork was out, with from the glass, some hay and herbs, but the pineapple was really dominant - it probably just needs a little more time for the other aromas to develop.
In the mouth...wow...as I expected, the pineapple hit first, but if it was rich, it wasn't exactly sweet, then I got a bit of mango, before a sudden wham of crisp lemon, and an acidic bite before some crunchy flavours, ranging from lime to seaspray to dried pineapple, then a very long, rich and persistent finish.
The crunchy fruit is typical of a biodynamic wine and the acidic bite reminded me oddly enough of a Pepière - it was like an exotic Muscadet!

Anyway, great fun to drink - one of the most interesting whites I have tried in a long time. It went beautifully with cheese from the Pyrenees. It was actually 14° but I would never have guessed. Totally different to any Jurançon I've tried to date and much more fun.

Château Montus - Cuvée Prestige - Madiran 2000

At first, no change from the last time I opened one - dark cherry and herbs on the nose, slowly developing into a blend of juniper berry, forest fruits and a brighter red cherry. Powerful waves of dark cherry, blackberry and redcurrant, showing much more class and finesse than the Bouscassé VV I tried recently, but slightly muted, with a finale that doesn't reach the heights I expected. This needs time still but when it hits full maturity will be excellent.

Domaine Berthoumieu - Cuvée Charles de Batz - Madiran 2000

Much brighter aromas than the Montus, with red cherry, wild strawberry and just a hint of leather. The attack is more streamlined too, the red cherry very dominant, underpinned by some thick blackberry, but the middle section is where it takes off - a wonderful rising seam of wild strawberry, but with a cooling cloak of slightly minty, crisp acidity, then a slightly earthy finish which again reminded me of Pessac-Léognans. Quite reminiscent too of an Alliet Coteau du Noiré.

Three years ago the Montus dominated the Berthoumieu easily, now it was the other way round. To date, the latter is the best Madiran I have tasted.

Both Madirans were 14°, but only the Montus showed it.

In terms of price, the QPR is unbeatable. There is little to no market for old Madirans - the Montus can be found over here easily for around 35€, the Berthoumieu cost me a mere 13€ at auction two years ago, which was what I paid for my original bottles in 2002. I shall look out for more.

They were both perfect for a cold evening. Having said that, I will not be buying any younger vintages - 14° is one thing, but they now seem to always be 15°, which is a bridge too far for me.

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