The vineyards of Tursan are situated on the borders of Les Landes, an extensive area that these days is covered with pines but was once marsh and sand dunes. The other neighbours are Gascony and Bearn. The soil of the 500 hectares of vineyards here is a mixture of clay and sand with some chalk and sandstone. The best vineyards are situated on hills of broken chalk. Approximately half the production is of white French wine with the rest being rose and red.
Tursan white is made with the Baroque grape, supplemented with a maximum of 10 per cent of Gros Manseng and Sauvignon. This French wine is fresh, fruity, and very aromatic with a very pleasing taste. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 8-10°C (46.4- 50°F) .
This rose French wine is pale, fresh, dry, and very delicious. It is made using Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc. For a good taste drink this French wine at temperature : 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).
The red French wine is made with a minimum 60 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc supplemented with a maximum 40% Tannat. This French wine is full-bodied , rounded, and comforting with great finesse, charm, and great aromatic properties. Drink this French wine at 16°C (60.8°F).
Madiran was certainly known a century before the birth of Christ. Here too the success of the local wine results from the input of Benedictine monks.
After an extremely dark period during which Madiran seemed to have been wiped from the wine menu, a saviour appeared in the form of Alain Brumont, a modest, stubborn, ambitious, but charming and friendly son of a local winegrower. He bought the abandoned Montus estate, and replanted it with the traditional Tannat grapes, that once imparted their charm to Madiran French wines. The quality of the vineyards and the vines was the foremost issue with high quality standards and low yields. The true Madiran was reborn. In less than 15 years this shiny knight of the Madiran ensured that it had become one of the best known red wines of France. This is a huge achievement.
Wine-growing in Madiran
The 1,100 hectares of vineyards of Madiran are sited on calciferous clay interspersed with areas of poorer and stony soil. Madiran wine is produced with Tannat, possibly supplemented with Per Servadou, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc, which mellow the harshness of the Tannat. Madiran wine is full of tannin which needs at least 2-4 years maturing in the bottle (and at least 10 years for the best wines) in order to develop its full charm.
The best Madiran can certainly be kept for 20- 30 years. Madiran is the stereotype for masculine French wine: sturdy, full-bodied, substantial, sensual, and fleshy. When drunk young (after at least two years) a Madiran is very fruity but the tannin will dominate. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 14°C (57 .2°F).
Older Madiran has a bouquet of toast, coffee, cocoa, herbs, vanilla, preserved fruit, liquorice, and much more. Drink this French wine at 16°C (60.8°F).