The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) called Madiran is in the southwest part of France in Gascony and is a red wine-only AOC dominated by the Tannat grape. The Tannat grape is known for prodigious levels of tannin and the wines produced typically require several years before they become enjoyable.


Domaine Berthoumieu is a prominent family producer in Madiran and the Cuvée Haute Tradition is comprised of a blend of 55% Tannat, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Fer-Servadou, the last grape being used largely to contribute a perfumed aroma to the wines.

This wine is not for the faint of heart, or for those who abhor tannin. Be prepared to scrape your tongue after just one glass, because this wine is thick. Definitely built for consumption with hearty food – foie gras comes to mind with its rich, fatty consistency, or a nice, well-marbled sirloin or rib eye… Throw together a nice Cognac cream sauce with caramelized shallots and we’re talking heaven…

My tasting note:

Thick, black cherry nose – deep and dark with rose attar, violet and black currant hints. Full-bodied with firm acidity and firm, dry tannin – good balance. Very tightly wound with sour, tart cherry, pomegranate and roasted game notes – intense and brooding. Moderate length with a closed, muted finish. Needs time to open up, perhaps another 3 to 5 years in bottle, maybe more…

At an average bottle price of $14.99 before the discount, this wine is a very respectable value.