What Is Monbadon?
By Chris Pfeiffer
We have a small quantity of Monbadon (known as Burger in the USA) which, along with Palomino, we use principally for apera use. We find that the variety has a lot of similarity to Palomino, big bunches, big berries, subdued flavour and low phenolics. It has less of a fruit profile than Palomino.
We generally pick Monbadon relatively early, so we end up with base wines around 11% alcohol. The large bunches make it prone to bunch rots. The base wine is then fortified to 15% alcohol and innoculated with flor yeast after placing in barrels. Our Pfeiffer Seriously Fine and Pfeiffer Seriously Nutty has some Monbadon in it.
I first encountered Monbadon when I worked at Lindemans, where it was also used for apera styles. My experience there was of wines that maintained their delicacy over Palomino, consequently my interest in planting it.
Andrew Birks, ex Lindemans and Charles Sturt University, planted some Monbadon at the University and this is in fact where we obtained our planting material.) I know of no other plantings in Australia. We planted Monbadon because we wanted to make the apera style wines and because it produced elegant styles that allowed ageing.