A forgotten grape: the Alicante Bouschet.
Strong - Pruned for ageing
Domaine de Montbuisson
A wine for every dish: this could be the creed of Bernadette and Benoit Fettweis, who produce a fine assortment of red and white wines with a Côtes de Thongue PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), along with a rosé made using the saignée method. This Verviers couple juggle with blends and initial their coloured labels with large letters, as if traced by the tip of a sword: from the A of Ambre Satine to the P of Philippine, including the G of Grains Noirs, to name but some of their wines. The Montbuisson vineyard covers 25 contiguous hectares, but only just over 12 are planted with vines. It has obtained HVE certification (High Environmental Value) in recognition of its efforts to promote biodiversity.
The Alicante Bouschet is a teinturier grape variety (coloured flesh) created in France in 1855. It was originally used to intensify the colour of poor wines. It is not authorised for use in AOC wines (controlled designation of origin) and is declining sharply in French vineyards. At the Montbuisson vineyard, Benoit Fettweis uses it as a single varietal to produce his Arcane cuvée. A highly original wine!
Yield limited to 30 hl/ha on the vines, which are over 80 years old. Grapes sorted on the vine before harvesting and deseeded upon reception. Long, temperature-controlled fermentation in vats with slight extraction then racking. Matured in tanks for eight months, then in casks and “well-used” (over 10 wines) demi-muids for a year. Slight filtration upon bottling only. Rested in bottles for up to two years before marketing.
Extremely dense dark red robe.
Aromas of small black fruits and mild spices, hint of graphite.
Dense in the mouth with heady tannins. Very fine length suggesting ageing potential. Discreet woodiness.
Ideal with red meats and game.
|Domaine de Montbuisson
|IGP Côtes de Thongue
|Dominant grape variety
|100% Alicante Bouschet