Well, Gérard Bertrand has done it again. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, really, but there’s always something unexpected with his wines. They demonstrate his mastery of the Languedoc terroir, and represent the region with clear typicity, and yet there is always something more to notice. It’s not just the refinement he achieves, which can be elusive in organic wine. The wines simply deliver interest beyond what you’d expect.
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His latest release, of a few weeks ago, is a winning rosé (yes, we’re starting to think about rosé again, as part of our post-vaccine daydreams) from 2020. A Languedoc AOP cuvee comprised of 65% Grenache Noir, 25% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 10% Mourvedre, the vegan-friendly wine presents as very light pink in the glass. I made the rather amateur mistake of expecting the wine to be thin on the palate. Instead, it has an almost savory note, with a pleasant salinity. Aged in oak, there’s a fair bit of body to it, and a whiff of white pepper spiciness. Soft berry flavors linger on the tongue as a sip gives way to crushed flowers. It does not need to be especially cold—another pleasurable aspect.
There is a balance to the wine that much rosé does not achieve; it has plenty of the all-day-drinking fun aspect of pink stuff, but enough fruit and acid to be an excellent choice with dinner. The label on the bottle goes so far as to suggest drinking it with grilled meats—an unusual thought, to my mind, but it would absolutely work. It was terrific with my roasted salmon but I’d reach for it with barbecue. With a whole grilled fish, well herbed and olive-oil basted, somewhere in southern France? Oui, merci.