Ok, so I like Montus (1,2)! Not exactly a mainstream wine, Chateau Montus hails from the little known appelation of Madiran in the rather annonymous "Southwest France" winemaking region, and is made (mainly) from the very rare Tannat grape. Don't expect to find this on too many wine lists...
Anyway, there is something very extraordinary, in my opinion, about a well made Madiran. Leathery, gamey, tannic, but in the right hands balanced. Alain Brumont, proprietor of Chateau Montus, has "the right hands", both in the less expensive regular cuvee (which I drank tonight), the high end "Cuvee Prestige", and at his other Madiran estate, Chateau Bouscasse. All of those wines are fabulous.
The 2001 Chateau Montus has a wonderful, complex nose, hitting you with leather, cedar, rose, blackberry, mint, tea, nutmeg and some licorice. Awesome. On the palate there were dense, but velvety tannins. Full-bodied and very well balanced with good length. Excellent. This wine showed well with a one hour decant, and paired extremely well with Swedish meatballs and egg noodles. May improve, but very drinkable now (with some air).
Cost C$32 (SAQ)
Buy! Buy! Buy! (easy for me to say, I bought every last bottle in town...)
1) Note that this is a wine that pairs very well with a grilled steak or any beef dish.
2) The key difference in my mind between this wine and the pricier Cuvee Prestige is length - the Cuvee Prestige is meant for aging, while the regular Montus is more accessible today.