Tasting notes

Monbousquet rouge

David Biraud, Best Sommelier of France...


Intensely dark violet color. Aromatically clean, with juicy black fruit predominating. On the palate the wine is mouthfilling, with a tight and fine texture; the tannins are impressive without obscuring the overall structure. Avoiding all under-ripeness, the winemaking is vibrant and well-executed given the growing conditions. The Monbousquet vineyard adapts well to difficult vintages.


Predominately violet in hue, the wine has a deep, dense color. It is aromatically fresh with an explosive, generous fruitiness; the oak is carefully controlled and well-integrated, stylish and fine. In the mouth the wine is round and generous, with good body and a refined texture avoiding extracted, hard tannins. The finish is flavorful and long. This wine makes the most of Monbousquet’s mature vines, which consistently perform well. This vintage has surprises in store.


This vintage shows an intense purple color with violet highlights.The aromas are clean and fruit-focused with good maturity, presenting fresh black fruit and a controlled use of oak at this stage of its development. In the mouth the wine is generous and opulent, while very fine and tight tannins impart breeding and character. The finish is quite tannic right now, fully displaying its structure. Careful aging has brought out a rather powerful fruitiness and warmth which contributes added richness. A wine with a long future.


The quality of this vintage is renowned. The wine shows a very attractive purple that is dense and intense. On the nose there is a powerful and very complex range of aromas: a luxurious cedar-wood character underlines a concentration of black fruit like cassis liqueur and blackberry jam. The longer the wine breathes, the greater its aromas. On the palate, a first impression of rich, elegant character is followed by a fine and tight texture. Great volume in the mid-palate is complemented by a satisfying balance—the grape’s maturity in this vintage gives the wine its powerful, succulent structure. As in all great vintages the finish is long and shows well. Patience is needed to let the tannins evolve with time. Don’t hesitate to decant the wine an hour before tasting and pair it with flavorful, rich dishes like pigeon stuffed with black olives, grilled pork breast with smoked herbs, or pig’s ear salad.


This vintage displays a very beautiful, youthful purple color.The nose has very good intensity, with smoky, bacon notes and a fruity character growing milder yet still elegant with maturity. The mid-palate shows good concentration that is supple, tender and underscored by a fine, well-balanced acidity. Tannins remain robust and firm for good structure, while a slight bitterness adds mouthwatering contrast. Aeration makes the wine shine, increasing its supple and elegant texture. Superb at this stage of its development, the wine perfectly accompanies richly-textured, well-sauced meat dishes.Smoked beef, pea-filled ravioli, saddle of suckling pork, jellied pig trotter with Comté cheese.


The color remains pronounced, deep, intensely purple.The aromatic range shows ripe, jammy black berries, cherry jelly, noble spices and a touch of freshness.The first impression on the palate is powerful, with tannins that remain tight and imposing; the structure is full, generous and still strong, followed by an aromatic touch of graphite, grilled and mature notes, and a generous finish. Very long in the mouth, with toasty aromas. A wine which is starting to drink well. Marry it with meats such as venison in pepper sauce, duck confit with chestnut breading, or beef cheeks in a wine reduction.


The color is deep and dense, with violet highlights and a notable degree of color in the legs formed after agitating the wine. The aromas are well-defined and intense, with black currant liqueur, crushed blackberry, and woody notes, in addition to the complementary presence of toasty, grilled country bread. Signs of barrel aging are still evident, but 15 years of experience with Monbousquet shows that this will certainly become absorbed into the wine.
In the mouth the wine is at once solid, supple and firm. Its tannins are still youthful and prominent, producing a silky, well-bred, mouth-filling texture. A very long finish is a sign of the vintage’s maturity. Good choices for this wine are fine red meats, a well-prepared breast of duck, or venison filet. Be sure to stock several bottles in the cellar.


Deep violet highlights complement the wine’s brilliant, black appearance, and concentrated legs indicate its great viscosity. The nose displays juicy, sun-ripened black fruit aromas which evolve with airing to unveil the grilled, toasty mocha notes characteristic of rich and powerful wines. Great opulence and smooth tannins are present in the mouth, creating a firm, youthful structure that is full of promise. The finish is exuberant, with generous, well-incorporated tannins and a great length typical of skillful winemaking in excellent vintages. It will fully reveal itself with a further decade of aging, however in five years the wine’s aromatic profile will start becoming evident. Be patient.


Deep, concentrated colour. Rich, complex bouquet, with largely fruity components (ripe, jammy fruit, black cherry, and stewed prunes). Starts out very full-bodied on the palate with an interesting tannic structure that will undoubtedly age well. 2003 Monbousquet is very suave on the middle palate, with an impression of sweetness and richness. The style was obviously affected by the 2003 heat wave, but the wine has managed to retain a great deal of freshness – a very important priority in this vintage. The aftertaste is long and delicious with a medley of flavours and a mouthwatering quality. This is a truly beautiful wine, a great success despite the extreme heat. It nevertheless calls for some patience, about 5-10 years, in order to reach its peak. It will benefit from decanting not only to separate the wine from its sediment, but also to aerate it. The ideal serving temperature is 16-18° C.


Attractive deep ruby-red colour with garnet-red highlights. The pleasant, aristocratic bouquet is already well-defined, open, and complex with hints of fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry) and spice. Fine tannic structure on the palate. This tannin is unresolved at present, and the wine has much to gain by decanting. 2002 Monbousquet is delicious with red meats such as lamb that can stand up to the tannin, as well as offal in a sauce. This vintage will be even better after 3-7 years ageing.


The 2001 vintage was a huge success for the wines of Vignobles Perse. 2001 Château Monbousquet has a beautiful and still youthful garnet-red colour as well as an open nose with complex, refined aromas of blackberry, very ripe blackcurrant, pencil shavings, and understated, well-integrated oak. Straightforward and suave on the palate, with plenty of body and beautifully ripe, elegant, and smooth tannin. There is also a great deal of freshness on the aftertaste, which gives this wine excellent balance and a length worthy of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. There is also a spicy side that makes 2001 Monbousquet a fine match for meat in a brown sauce, veal knuckle with Asian spice, or roast game. You can age this wine for at least 5-10 years and in keeping with the fine overall quality of this vintage.


An intense, sustained garnet color and shades of tile in the highlights indicate the evolving state of this wine. The aromatic palette is attractively complex, a blend of diverse elements like black cherries and black currant liqueur. The wine’s perfect, ripe fruit is supported by the spiciness that comes with slow evolution, and aging has developed smoky, “bacon” notes to add even greater complexity and nobility. Smooth tannins of great quality contribute mouth-filling suppleness, silky texture and great body. The mid-palate shows beautifully and the finish is mouth-watering, long, and elegant. This is a wine which needs time to breathe before serving with dishes like herb-encrusted rack of lamb, roast pigeon with foie gras, or a fine duck recipe. A wine made for long cellaring: the past eight years indicate that the coming decade will bring increased enjoyment.


This vintage has the advantage of being ready to drink now, since the ‘99s are characterized by a fine and supple tannic structure. The wine has a deep purple color, with tile-colored highlights. Well-defined aromas show the juicy, sweet black fruit and fresh, mentholated notes which are frequently found in this vintage. Time has pulled this wine together nicely: the grilled and roasted coffee notes from barrel aging that were evident in youth have become more discreet. In the mouth the wine has a very pleasant body that is fine and elegant, with supple tannins that are easy to enjoy. The finish is supple, showing spice, wild mushroom, and forest floor aromas. This is a wine that is ready to drink now and over the next three to five years, having developed an aromatic palette in full evolution. Pair it with either white or red meats—the finesse of the tannins make both possibilities attractive. Other matches are sea bass prepared with oriental spices, and cow-milk cheeses like Saint-Nectaire.


This ruby-colored wine is evolving, as shown by its nut-colored highlights. The nose is already quite expressive, which is characteristic for this vintage of renowned quality. Pleasant, fruity aromas of grapes, black currant liqueur, and notes of fine spices mingle with cedar, blonde tobacco, and chocolate to produce a complexity typical of the greatest wines. The first impression on the palate is a round and smooth suppleness which comes from the wine’s fine and well-integrated tannins; take note of this aspect of the vintage’s ripe harvest. The finish is spicy, mouth-watering and stimulating. The length is impressive, reinforcing our impressions of a great vintage and a great wine. Be sure to let the wine breathe, perhaps by serving it in large glasses with filet of beef “Rossini”, saddle of lamb seasoned with Espelette peppers, or duck breasts with black olives. The wine is drinking well now, but may be held for an additional five to ten years.


The colour is beginning to fade, tending towards ruby-red with orange highlights. The bouquet has hints of mushroom, forest floor, and humus, and time has had its effect. The nose shows that this was not a ripe vintage. The fruitiness is disappearing and barrel-ageing aromas are starting to come through. There is also a smell of smoked meat. 1997 Monbousquet is very smooth on the palate. The tannins are largely resolved and the wine is elegant and delicate, but not to excess. There is not a great deal of body, and the wine's virtue is more due to its balance rather than its power. The middle palate is elegant, without any heaviness. The aftertaste is musky with a slight sensation of hardness due to sharp tannin. This wine is fine to drink now, although it will hold for another 3-5 years. Make sure to keep an eye on it after that time. It is very enjoyable with meat dishes and aged cow's milk cheeses.


This is one of the finest vintages of the decade. It still looks quite young, with a deep, dark ruby-red colour and a few brown highlights just starting to creep in – which is only normal for a wine this age. The beautiful bouquet is rich and complex, reminiscent of fruit in brandy (plums, cherry), pencil shavings, and a refined smoky, toasty quality. Attractively smooth on the palate with good body, balance, and great acidity that contributes considerable freshness. The long mouth-watering aftertaste features beautiful ripe smooth tannin as well as flavours of fruit macerated in brandy and roast coffee. This is a really beautiful, mature and very ripe wine that you can easily wait 4-6 years to open. A great success. Wonderful with red meats, spicy poultry, and freshwater fish in a red wine sauce.


This is one of Monbousquet's benchmark vintages. The colour is a beautiful, deep, ruby-red with a few orange highlights that show the wine is starting to age. However, it barely has any wrinkles! The nose is well-defined and very concentrated, exhibiting complex aromas typical of the estate: juicy, bright black fruit, cedar, a smoky side, and a whiff of pepper. On the palate, 95 Moubousquet is well-focused and has developed textbook elegance, smoothness, and sophistication. What finesse and textured tannin! The retronasal aromas are powerful with good fruit and a toasty quality that extends into a long aftertaste. This ability to stay on the palate for several minutes is the sign of a great vintage. 1995 Moubousquet is nothing less than noble, and it is not really surprising that it always does brilliantly at blind tastings. Recommended food matches: skirt steak, guinea fowl or partridge, and lamb, which highlights the wine's complexity and maturity. However, you do not have to worry about holding on to this wine for another 4-6 years in the knowledge that it has survived its first decade like a charm.


The colour is still dark, but the rim is starting to turn brown and there are orange highlights. The bouquet is somewhat lacking in finesse, offering aromas of forest floor and humus, but also signs of underripe fruit (a herbaceous quality) due to difficult weather during the growing season. 1994 Monbousqueet is firm on the palate with underripe tannin that is still not altogether resolved. This wine is undoubtedly ready to drink, but it is advisable to pair it with strong meat such as game, and not to decant it in order to retain maximum freshness. If you have any in your cellar, it is best to enjoy it without delay.


Our first vintage at the château was a difficult one, enabling us to see the fruit of our labours over time. The colour is ruby-red with some bricking and orange highlights. The bouquet is musky with a strong forest floor component as well as mushroom. Smooth tannin on the palate with a smoky aftertaste reminiscent of humus. Pleasant, fairly elegant texture showing its age. The finish is slightly dry, certainly due to the lack of maturity in the fruit. This wine should be consumed soon, as it requires no further ageing. Best enjoyed with game.