Hallgarten are the UK agents for Gérard Bertrand, so their recent tasting provided a good opportunity for an update on the not inconsiderable range from his various estates scattered over the Languedoc.
NV Code Rouge, Crémant de Limoux
Presented in an eye-catching red bottle. A blend of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac. Aged on the lees for a minimum of three years, with 8 gms/l dosage. A rounded creamy nose, with supple ripe rounded fruit on the palate. Nicely balanced and easy to drink.
2016 Picpoul de Pinet.
This comes from bought grapes rather than their own vineyards. Quite a rounded nose, and on the palate the benchmark saltiness of Picpoul with a firm finish and good balancing acidity.
2017 Chardonnay ‘Naturalys’, Pays d’Oc
30% of the cuvée is aged in barrel for six months. Light easy fruit on the nose and quite supple and softly buttery on the palate. This is their organic cuvée.
2017 Muscat ‘Prima Nature’ Pays d’Oc
Very fresh grapey nose, and on the palate rounded and grapey with a firm pithy note and the slightly bitter finish that is the hallmark of Muscat. From organic vineyards and made without the addition of any sulphur.
2017 Syrah ‘Prima Nature’ Pays d’Oc
Medium depth of colour. Young perfumed fruit on the nose, and on the palate some young rather raw tannins, but with underlying ripe fruit and some juiciness. Again, without any added sulphur.
2017 Gris Blanc Pays d’Oc
A pure Grenache Gris. Quite a soft rounded palate, and still a touch amylic, with boiled sweets on the nose. A dry finish.
2017 Or et Azur Bee-Friendly Rosé, AOP Languedoc
A blend of equal parts of Grenache Noir and Cinsaut. Light pink colour. Still a bit amylic on the nose, but quite full and rounded on the palate, with good fruit.
2016 Château la Sauvageonne, Languedoc blanc.
A blend of 50% Vermentino, 40% Grenache blanc and 10% Viognier, partially aged in barrel for six months. Buttery oak on the nose and quite solid and mouth filling on the palate. The oak is still too obvious for my taste buds
2016 Château la Sauvageonne, La Villa rosé, Pays d’Oc
A blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 7% Vermentino and 3% Viognier, of which a proportion is fermented in oak. A pretty gris colour, and quite a delicate but firm nose, with some restrained fruit on the palate. Quite structured, elegant and stylish. This is a serious rosé.
2014 Château la Sauvageonne, Pica Broca, Terrasses du Larzac
A blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, aged for 12 – 16 months in new French barriques, which makes it rather solidly oaky on the nose and palate, but with some ripe rounded fruit underneath the oak. Needs time.
2013 Château la Sauvageonne, Grand Vin, Terrasses du Larzac
50% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 8% Mourvèdre and 7% Carignan, aged in French oak for 12 months. Quite a firm structured nose and palate. Tight knit, youthful concentrated fruit. Again, needs time, but promises well.
2017 Domaine de Cigalus blanc, Aude Hauterive
70% Chardonnay, 20% Viognier, 10% Sauvignon blanc, of which 70% is fermented in French oak. Quite a rounded nose with lots of nuances. Quite a ripe fleshy palate, with peachy notes and a dry finish with a streak of tannin from the oak.
2016 Domaine de Cigalus rouge, Aude Hauterive
A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Syrah, 20% Merlot and 5% each of Grenache and Carignan so a mix of bordelais and Languedoc flavours with a rounded ripe nose and on the palate, ripe spice, some cassis and a streak of tannin.
2014 Clos d’Ora, Minervois la Livinière
A blend of 45% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 10% Carignan, aged for 12 months in French oak barriques. Medium colour. The nose is quite firm and closed with oaky overtones. The palate is medium weight, quite firm and structured with herbal notes and other nuances, as well as some attractive evolution. But at £149.91 plus VAT is it really worth it? However, I admire Gérard’s chutzpah for aiming high, as Aimé Guibert did with Mas de Daumas Gassac back in the 1980s.
2014 la Viala, Minervois la Livinière
60% Syrah, 25% Grenache 15% Carignan aged for a minimum of 12 months in new French oak barriques. Quite a deep colour. A rounded ripe spicy nose. Lightly oaky palate, but quite an intense finish, with ageing potential. And only about a third the price of Clos d’Ora.
2015 La Forge Corbières Boutenac
A blend of equal parts of Carignan and Syrah, aged for 12 months in barriques.
A deep colour. Quite solid firm oak on the nose. Dense ripe fruit on the palate with a firm streak of tannin.