In the glass, the Madiran Tradition has a deep purple color, almost black at the center. The nose develops gradually, with ripe black mulberries, crushed violets, and dark cocoa moving in and out of the background, adding fleeting suggestions of birch bark, black licorice, and vanilla as the wine evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is supple and concentrated, with a dense sweet core of crunchy black fruit that echoes the nose. Sleek ripe tannins frame the mineral-laced flavors, which are carried through a long persistent finish by the beautifully integrated fresh-fruit acidity.
About this wine producer: In 1952, Alain Bortolussi's grandfather purchased the seventeenth-century château and the surrounding 25 hectares of vines, which had just been classified under AOC regulations as Madiran. Over the next thirty-five years, these gentle slopes of gravel and clay were carefully replanted with the best clones of Tannat and Cabernet Franc, and the winery was gradually modernized. Alain, who is the first to bottle the wine at the estate, took charge in 1991.