Languedoc Alert

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!

Gerard Bertrand

GÉRARD BERTRAND LANGUEDOC SYRAH/GRENACHE 2011
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #413237 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.00
14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in: Midi, France
By: Gerard Bertrand
Release Date: May 2, 2015

Tasting Note
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.

Corbières Alert

Proudly displaying the dramatic cross of the Visigoths dating to the 7th century,
later known as the Languedoc Cross or Cross of the Cathars, this vintner’s
very apt emblem also includes 2 doves drinking from a single cup – symbolizing
both sharing and communion. Begun by father Georges, a winemaking pioneer
in the Languedoc region who worked diligently to foster a spirit of cooperation
by 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. The multi-generational philosophy is being carried forward
by the founder’s son. Namesake of the current, burgeoning portfolio of vineyards,
Gérard Bertrand, now has its primary facilities based in Narbonne.

The Corbières terroir stretches from the base of the Pyrenees in the southwest
to Montagne Noire (Black Mountain) further north. A kaleidoscope of geology
and complex climates, the combinations serve to produce outstanding vines and
resulting, herb-scented wines. The prolific region was granted their official AOC
classification in 1985. The soils here consist of gravely clay and limestone with a
surface cover of stone pebbles, providing good drainage and healthy root stock.
The South of France, as a whole, is playfully described as a European wine lake,
containing 40% of France’s total vineyard acreage. The process of replacing
traditional, high-yielding grape varieties with lower yielding varieties to produce
smaller quantities of better wine, continues. What also carries forward, is that
they remain comparatively inexpensive and outstanding value.

A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is the traditional output from an
arid landscape where no crop thrives except vines. Often counter-intuitive, the
most challenging terroirs yield the most interesting wine. Grapevines do well by
beingstressed. Here, they are stressed by wind, heat and poor organic soil. The
odd appropriateness of this land is manifest by creating a rippling sea of lush
green leaves. Stony white Limestone outcrops, tough, spiky Garrigue (herb-like
bushes), lines of Cyprus tree windbreaks and Terracotta covered stonework
houses, completes the complex picture.

The best Corbières wines can now hold their own with classic French vintages
of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Though you will find many bottlings from this prolific
vintner on the regular LCBO shelves, note that this limited release is only found
in the Vintages section and represents a value well above the sticker price!

Corbieres

GÉRARD BERTRAND CORBIERES 2011
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #394288 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 18.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Roussillon, France
By: Gerard Bertrand
Release Date: Nov. 8, 2014

Tasting Note
This is a firm and spicy wine style that is best enjoyed with foods such as stuffed
peppers, meatballs in spiced tomato and olive sauce, grilled meats of all sorts
and ripe cheeses.