If Château Montus is Alain Brumont’s ode to the left bank, his family’s ancestral property of Château Bouscassé would be his homage to the right. Indeed, his 50-hectare plot of clay-limestone terroir in Maumusson-Laguian is often referred to around the property, tongue planted firmly in cheek, as “Pied de Côte de Saint Emilion,” or “The Foot of the Saint Emilion Slope.” The diversity of soil here is remarkable: red, yellow, white, and even uncommon grey clays, fissured limestone, and chalk all make appearances in the terroirs surrounding the Château.
Appropriately, the Tannat from this property shows a bit more approachability, particularly when young, than the austere and polished bottlings of Montus 10km to the south. It also seems to age more quickly than the wines of Montus, partially due to Bouscassé’s preference for a modicum less new oak and but also because of a tendency toward blending in higher proportions of other varieties: Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc and Merlot.
Bouscassé is also responsible for the production of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh: a decidedly lesser-known appellation reserved for white wines, both dry and sweet, that overlaps Madiran. These expressions of the Petit Courbu, Petit Manseng, and Gros Manseng varieties may be southern France’s best kept secrets. The sweet late-harvest wines are often enjoyed as an aperitif, traditionally with the region’s famed foie gras, but are also versatile dessert accompaniments.