European Winery of the Year – Wine Enthusiast 2011
Gerard Bertrand is one of the largest wineries in the South of France and many consider him to be the best. He is certainly the poster child for the area and a tireless promoter for his wines and region. He is both loved and loathed in the area, typical for large wine ventures. The South of France is considered the engine room of the French Wine Industry, with pockets of brilliance and Minervois is one of these. Gerard purchased this estate in 1997, a few years after the appellation gained official recognition. This allows the region to place the name of the region on the wine label. A huge bonus if you want to differentiate your wine from the other cheaper wines in the surrounding areas.
Minerviois is a region that produces rich savoury reds, with a very dry and warm climate in one of the most picturesque places of the world. (Hilly, rugged landscapes covered in vines minutes away from the Mediterranean.) Sounds like heaven to me. No great surprise they have been making wine in this region since the Roman times
It is blend of Syrah and the grape variety Carignan. This is a variety we are seeing a lot at Bullion Cellars. It is used in the final blend in a lot of wines from Southern France and Northern Spain. I am beginning to think it is the Carignan that makes these wines so appealing and delicious. The grapes were all handpicked, fermented and matured separately for around 8 months before final blending and bottling.
This wine is a dark, medium bodied and full of complex aromas like cherries and liquorice. It is a wine full of juicy blackcurrant fruit and a velvety smoky palate, full of ripe fruit and sweet oak characteristics. It also has this incredible peppery richness to the mouth feel that makes you want to pour the second glass.