By Melissa Pulvermacher
Gérard Bertrand, a name we all recognize in the wine industry certainly has a diverse portfolio, but after sitting down with JP Turgeon, Canada’s Gérard Bertrand Portfolio Director, I was given the opportunity to taste the ‘cool climate’ options in our market.
JP shared his story, his attempt at the gruelling Master of Wine exam and how he is incredibly proud to be working with this portfolio of quality wine from Gérard Bertrand.
Gérard Bertrand is represented in Ontario by Family Wine Merchants and has several wines currently available here in the LCBO.
The winery currently owns 650 hectares of vine, 70% of which is completely biodynamic. JP says that “by 2020, all of our vineyards will be entirely biodynamic”. The wine production is 70% red, 20% rosé and 10% white.
The spiritual component of wine growing is built into the Gérard Bertrand philosophy, along with the genuine care for the land, the vines and the final product.
Although the South of France is not considered a key cool climate region, JP explains that proximity to water and altitude have huge roles in dictating the climate. Gérard Bertrand is able to grow ripe, warm red wines, while also growing cool and restraint whites and reds that are considered cooler climate expressions.
Although I didn’t get to taste this wine, Gérard Bertrand produces a sparkling Cuvée Thomas Jefferson Brut Crémant de Limoux 2013 mostly from cool climate Chardonnay for $20 currently available in LCBO Vintages.
Limoux is said to be more likely the birth of bubbly’s home base involving Dom Perignon’s visit before going to the Champagne region. Limoux has a lot of history in producing sparkling wine and for $20, we should check this one out.
For the wines I did get to taste, the incredibly fresh 2015 Gris Blanc really opened my eyes to how the South of France could produce what we consider a cool climate wine. Produced from black and grey Grenache grown entirely in Roussillon, the acidity in this wine speaks for itself.
The wine is produced from direct and light pressed juice. Floral and fresh with a mid-palate richness in the texture. JP and I agreed on this interesting note of Popeye candy that follows through to the palate. A fun, easy rosé for the summer patio.
This Grenache Gris is only $16.95 in LCBO Vintages and the best part? Magnums of this wine were released in small quantities for only $29.95. They were almost sold out last I checked, but I was able to snag a few for cottage weekends.
The Reserve Special 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon was delicious and easy to drink with notes of violet, pepper and black fruit. For $13.95 in LCBO General List, you can’t go wrong for a simple and easy drinking red everyone will enjoy.
The 2013 Terroir Langeudoc Syrah/Grenache was my favourite wine of the day as its quality stresses the value of this wine for $16.95 in LCBO Vintages. JP mentions that the active diurnal range has a huge effect on cooling these grapes in the evening adding tension and depth.
Video: JP discusses the wines now available here in the LCBO.
Any producer who cares about the Earth while also consciously striving to deliver quality wines with great value to our market scores extra points in my books.
About Melissa Pulvermacher
Melissa is a Sommelier, Wine Blogger and founder of The Vino Enthusiasts Wine Club. Melissa is educated through The Wine and Spirit Education Trust and is passionate about all things food and wine.