Proudly displaying the dramatic, four-armed Visigoth symbol that dates to the 7th
century; later known as the Languedoc Cross or Cross of the Cathars, the four
elements and its twelve points of the zodiac represent the perfect and perpetual
cycle of time and nature. This vintner’s very apt emblem also includes 2 doves
drinking from a single cup – expressing both sharing and communion. Begun by
father Georges, a winemaking pioneer in the Languedoc region who diligently
worked to foster a spirit of cooperation among local growers in the 1970’s, this
benchmark winery has consistently been at the forefront of quality development
for an impressive range of regionally distinctive wine styles. A multi-generational
philosophy is being carried forward by the founder’s son Gérard Bertrand, with
an ever-expanding portfolio of 10 estates, 550 hectares of vineyard and primary
production facilities proudly based around Narbonne in south-central France.
On a landscape of windswept scrublands that border this Mediterranean shore,
the calcium-rich, grey-white limestone of a former seabed is punctuated with
thyme, wild lavender and undulating rows of gnarled Syrah and Grenache grape
vines. As with the land, wine-producing regulations of this free-spirited region
are less stringent than in the neighbouring Burgundy or Bordeaux appellations,
allowing for a broad range of varieties to be cultivated and blended – with these
2 starring grapes often providing the backbone. Syrah ripens more quickly than
its blending partner, so gets vatted in whole bunches first, while the somewhat
delayed harvesting and destemming of the Grenache fruit catches up later on.
Transferred into large 225-litre Bordeaux barrels to age for at least 10 months,
it’s then bottled and left to settle in for many more. In the case of this week’s
DéClassé recommendation – it’s been another 3 years.
Though you will find many bottlings from this prolific vintner on the regular LCBO
shelves, note that this particular release is only stocked in the Vintages section.
With warmer days ahead – dare to try this big, fruit-forward red slightly chilled!
GÉRARD BERTRAND LANGUEDOC SYRAH/GRENACHE 2011
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #413237 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.00
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Midi, France
By: Gerard Bertrand
Release Date: May 2, 2015
This is a firm and fairly spicy wine style that is best enjoyed with foods such as
stuffed peppers, meatballs in spiced tomato and olive sauce, grilled meats, fire
roasted vegetables and stronger, ripe cheeses.