On a glorious April morning, a small group of wine journalists gathered at Restaurant Daniel on New York City’s upper east side for a tasting with winemaker Gerard Bertrand (pictured above). Click on the arrow to play the short video.
Languedoc, Midi A.P., France
This lovely southern French rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes. It’s elegant, yet full-bodied for rosé and very satisfying. Freshness is everything in this wine. Grenache is ideal for rosé because it matures easily and quickly, has vibrant aromatics, yet keeps its zesty acidity for food. This grape has a short vegetative cycle
and yields enough for production while keeping the fresh character. The bottle for this rosé was created in a competition for students at design schools in Paris. There is actually a rose shape and cut to the glass on bottom, as well as an elegant glass stopper on the top. pair with planked salmon or seared tuna. Rosé food pairings: field greens.
Alcohol: 13% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 373985 Drink: 2014‐2017 Splendid Salad Wine Score: 92/100 $18.95
Click on the arrow to play the short video above.
Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé 2014
A pale ballet slipper pink, almost crystalline transparency in the glass. This southern French rosé is made from Grenache Noir and Grenache Gris grapes, thus Gris Blanc (grey-white) are hand-picked in the Roussillon region located in Tautavel between the Mediterranean sea and the Pyrenees mountains. The wine is matured on the fine lees for several weeks before bottling. Lovely mouth-watering acidity for fresh seafood salads. Finishes savoury with dried herbs and garrigue with some light racy cherry on the finish. No wonder rosé wine has overtaken white wine consumption as a category in France. Gerard Bertrand attributes this to women who are not only drinking more wine overall, but who are switching from mixed drinks like Cosmopolitans and martinis to rose, which has just as much flavour but less alcohol (and calories). Rose is also a great cash flow wine for winemakers since it doesn’t require oak aging or extra handling and treatment and is bottled soon after the vintage and meant to be consumed young. I liken it to the pasta of the restaurant world: great margins for owners, universally likeable by consumers.
Alcohol: 12.5% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 409870 Drink: 2014-2016 Scrumptious Seafood Wine Score: 90/100 $16.95
Gérard Bertrand Syrah Grenache 2011
Languedoc A.P., France
Savoury and juicy with meaty, dark spice character. Amazing QPR: quality price quality. This is mostly Syrah and Grenache in the blend. The greater diurnal shift (change) between daytime and night-time temperatures in the region intensifies the dark fruit and dense cassis character of the wine. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months. Pair with prime rib.
Alcohol: 13.5% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 413237 Drink: 2014‐2018 Heavenly Hamburger Wine Score: 90/100 $17.00
Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir Syrah Mourvèdre Grenache 2011
Les Aspres, Roussillon, France
This red wine blend is more rustic than the winery’s Saint Chinian, but still delivers terrific flavour and texture. The blend is 50% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Grenache. The vines grow in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. All Gerard Bertrand red wines spend a minimum of 12 months in oak barrels maturing. Gerard Bertrand makes more than 85 different wines from 11 wineries.
Alcohol: 15% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 812147020045 Drink: 2015‐2019 Luscious Lamb Wine Score: 91 $24.95
Gérard Bertrand Terroir Fitou 2011
Midi A.C., France
Juicy-delicious, absolutely wonderful aromas and flavours of fleshy black jam, blackberry pie and some smoke.
This is a dry, full-bodied wine but the riot of aromas are amazing.
Alcohol: 14.5% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 403683 Drink: 2015‐2020 Glorious Game Wine Score: 92/100 $17.95
Gerard Bertrand Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre 2011
The robust red wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes with no Carignan, so it is a dried style than Gerard Bertrand’s Minervois red wine blend. This one is layered and luscious with deep, rich, dark fruit flavours and a satisfying full-bodied weight.
Alcohol: 13.5% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 394288 Drink: 2014‐2019 Heavenly Hamburger Wine Score: 92/100 $18.95
Gerard Bertrand Syrah Carignan 2011
This wine is made in what is known as the Kingdom of Syrah, the wine region in southern France where the Syrah grape finds vibrant expression. The grapes grow close to the Black Mountains and there is a great diurnal difference between day and night temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius during the growing season to ripen the grapes and preserve freshness. Part of this blend is also the Carignan grape, which Gerard Bertrand says has vines that are hard to train like teenagers. This wine features black pepper and dark fruit on the nose and palate, with a gorgeous texture on the palate. It’s mouth-coating, but not heavy. That’s the difference between wine that has great concentration and depth of flavour versus one that is simply highly extracted (loads of colour, alcohol, fruit flavour and so on but not integrated). Pair with grilled meats.
Alcohol: 14.5% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 894254002930 Drink: 2014‐2018 Best Beef Wine Score: 92/100 $19.95
The grapes for this wine are planted near the villages of Tautavel in southern France, in a spoon-shaped valley that has a protected, warm climate for grape ripening. The Grenache grape leads in this blend. Grenache was originally planted widely in southern France because it ripened early and produced high alcohol for spirits. Modern winemakers have harnessed that phenolic ripeness in dry red wines with great concentration of flavour. This one is smooth and elegant, not extracted, and finishes with black fleshy fruit. Pair with a rare filet mignon.
Alcohol: 15% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 894254002299 Drink: 2015‐2019 Best Beef Wine Score: 92/100 $24.95
Gérard Bertrand Saint Chinian Syrah Mourvèdre 2011
Midi A.P., France
A blockbuster red wine from the southern French winemaking region of Saint Chinian. Attractive aromas of fleshy black fruit, dark spice and smoke. This red wine blend is mostly Syrah and has a luscious velvet smooth texture. There are savoury and pepper notes on the finish. What an incredibly great wine for the price point. Pair with a rare steak or blood sausages.
Alcohol: 13.5% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 370247 Drink: 2014‐2018 Best Beef Wine Score: 90/100 $18.95
Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir Syrah Carignan Mourvèdre 2011
La Clape, Languedoc, France
The grapes for this French red wine blend are planted closer to the Mediterranean sea and therefore there are more spice accents in the finished wine along with red fruits, lavender and pepper. The vines are planted at an altitude of 200 metres above sea level, which preserves their freshness with cool nights. The soils consist of limestone plateau that’s thousands of years old. The finish has moorland accents. Pair with rosemary lamb. Although the Languedoc is the world’s largest wine region with 235,000 acres, it is not one homogenous mass or style wine-wise. There are actually 5 sub-climates and more than 50 different grapes used in varying blends. Compare that to the 5 grapes used in Bordeaux. There are also 8 different and distinctive winds that blow through the vines here as compared to one in the Rhone, the Mistral.
Alcohol: 14% Sweetness: Extra Dry 750 ml Product Code: 370262 Drink: 2015‐2019 Best Beef Wine Score: 93/100 $20.95