There is really something to the notion that wines and foods from a particular region are often made for each other, and that proved to be the case once again the other night when I cooked some duck breasts and served what turned out to be the perfect red wine. The region is France’s South West, where duck is a staple of the cuisine and where some of the red wines provide just the right amount of oomph to hold their own against the gaminess of dishes like our seared duck, served with a rich demi-glace and apricot sauce, along with wild rice and roasted carrots and parsnips.
The wine that worked so well (there were a couple of others that didn’t) was the 2006 Château Montus Madiran from Alain Brumont, a well-known producer in Madiran, which, along with Cahors, are the region’s most famous appellations. The wine is a blend of three grapes, most importantly the largely forgotten tannat, along with smaller amounts of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. It demands food, and in this case the duck tamed its considerable tannins while the wine provided a beautiful counterpoint to the dish with its red fruit and earth notes and long finish. It is complex and elegant (even with 14.5 percent alcohol), worthy of considerable aging and among the region’s very best wines. The suggested price is $33. Imported by Lauber Imports, Branchburg, N.J. Received as a press sample.