TASTING THE WINES OF GERARD BERTRAND
L’ART DE VIVRE-SOUTH OF FRANCE STYLE
By Michael Hepworth
Los Angeles, CA(Spiritsman)5/21/12/—-The wines of Gerard Bertrand symbolize the Mediterranean life style and four powerful red wines stand out from the estate. Grown in the area of Saint-Chinian in Languedoc where wine growing tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, the vineyards are on elevated south facing slopes that are dominated by a schist based soil.
The crop is hand picked and then transferred to the winery for a three week period of maceration. After that, the finest cuvees are selected for blending which lasts for eight months in Bordeaux oak barrels.
The Terroir Saint-Chinian ($20) is deep red with a flavor of forest fruits with a subtle hint of thyme and rosemary. This wine goes well with roast meats, pasta dishes and mature cheeses and is the wine of choice from this region.
Minervois comes from a huge 12,000 acre site purchased in 1997, and this particular appellation has been producing wines since 500 BCE. The soil here is very chalky with lots of pebbles with sandstone and granite higher up towards the Black Mountains. This wine ($20) is comprised of 50% Syrah and 50% Carignan, and the grapes go through a partial maceration to bring out their full flavor.
After an eight month maturation in Bordelaise barrels, the wine is the kept a few more months to mature before being released. Temperatures at night in the region are quite cold, giving the syrah grape its intense aroma. The overall taste of black fruit gives this elegant wine a relatively high alcohol content of 14.27% and his is a wine perfect with game, pot roast, pasta and sauce based dishes.
The Tautavel ($35) comes from a village situated in Roussillon, an area near the Spanish Catalan area famous for the discovery of the most ancient historic man dating back to 448,000 BC. This wine comes from a small 800 acre vineyard and consists of Grenache (50%), Syrah (35%) and Carignan (15%). This wine spends ten months in the barrels, and the flavor of blackcurrants and blackberries makes this a wine perfect with grilled peppers, grilled red meat, paella and mature cheeses.
Finally from the Gerard Bertrand collection comes Corbieres ($14), planted in 32,400 acres which is the fourth largest in France. These wines have been produced since 200 BC, and the grape content is 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre. Possibly a more versatile wine than the previous three mentioned, the solid and elegant wine with a complex black fruit aroma goes well with game, duck, wild mushrooms, hamburger and pizza.
For those of you who are familiar with the Gerard Bertrand name or the region they come from, any winecollection will be enhanced by the addition of any of these wines.
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211