If you attended the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2020, you may have had the opportunity to meet Gérard Bertrand and taste his wines from the Languedoc region. I was lucky to also attend his Masterclass where he went in-depth into the history of the Languedoc, his estate, his promotion of biodynamic viticulture and winemaking, and then tasted through 10 of his wines with commentary.
I received three wines of Gérard’s to taste and review for you that were not part of that Masterclass but may have been available at other events and the Festival Tasting Room. The three wines are:
- Gérard Bertrand Terroir St Chinian, 2016
- Gérard Bertrand Terroir Corbieres, 2017
- Gérard Bertrand Gran Terroir Les Aspres 2017
Today I am going to just cover the first wine, the Terroir Saint Chinian 2016, as it is a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre grapes, while the other two wines are a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache. Saint-Chinian is a highly reputed village in the Languedoc region where vines have been grown since the Middle Ages. Its vineyard, planted on the sun-kissed slopes of sandstone and schists, benefits from a cool micro-climate.
Gérard Bertrand Terroir St Chinian, 2016 (BC $23.99)
Appearance: Almost opaque garnet in colour to the rim. Black garnet at the core. Visible teardrops when swirling are expected as this wine is 14% alc/vol.
Nose: A medium intensity nose that starts off with sweet spices, red and black fruits, ripe plums, and Old World oak aromas, but with swirling and warming a bit in the glass offers delightful floral, more red fruits, and candied red fruits, along with some meatiness. There are no major differences on the nose with decanting, other than there may be more candied red fruit aromas.
Palate: It is dry with a medium body, and has a lighter roundness, which does get fuller with time in the glass. It has medium acidity along with lighter, fine-grained tannins. It starts off with flavours of raspberries, plums, blackberries and other black fruits, but then as it spends time in the glass you get floral violets and sweet spices and distinctive salty minerality. Nice fruit flavours and fresh acidity. With decanting, the main differences are the addition of some black cherry flavour and reduction of minerality.
Finish: A medium length finishing with light black fruits, oak, black pepperiness, and light drying tannins. Some hotness at the very end likely due to the high alcohol content.
Temperature is important for this wine I think for both getting the most from the aromas and flavours. On the back label, it does indicate serving this wine at 18 degrees C. I prefer the just-opened bottle with a little air from swirling, but not a long decant, as I missed the minerality from the decanted version. This wine would go well with grilled meats, beef or lamb.
Rating: – This wine is almost opaque black garnet in colour. It has a medium intensity nose of sweet spices, red and black fruits and some Old World oak aromas. Round with a lighter mouthfeel. Mainly black fruits, plums, raspberries, with some oak, floral and sweet spices to complement the fruit flavours. Black pepper and black fruits on the finish.