Hallgarten’s annual tasting was a great opportunity for an update on Gérard Bertrand’s extensive range of wines. I have described the wines in their order on the tasting sheet, which was not the order of tasting! Hence Rivesaltes is sandwiched between Chardonnay and Rosé! Prices are recommended retail prices in the UK.
NV Code Rouge, Crémant de Limoux - £24.99
60% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin blanc 10% Mauzac
Quite a rounded nose and palate. Some creamy fruit balanced by a firm finish.
2018 Gris Blanc - £12.49
A rosé made from solely from Grenache Gris. Very pale colour. Light fruit, and a rounded palate. Easy drinking.
2019 Picpoul de Pinet, Terroir - £13.99
Very fresh and youthful. Firm salty fruit on both nose and palate, with a lively note of acidity.
2018 Chardonnay Prima Nature, Pays d’Oc - £13.99
Organic in the vineyard and no sulphur in the cellar. Quite a rounded nose with some herbal notes, and more herbal leesy fruit on the palate. It did not really say Chardonnay, or is it that I do not particularly like Chardonnay from the south?
1974 Rivesaltes ‘Legend’ Vintage - £157.00 at Hedonism
60% Macabeo, 20% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir
Amber in colour with a rich nose and quite an intense, rich palate with a firm nutty bite. Great length on the finish. Why do we not drink more Rivesaltes? This is delicious! Albeit expensive, at one of London’s rather smarter wine shops. There is better value Rivesaltes to be found.
2019 Hampton Water Rosé, AOP Languedoc - £19.99
A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 10% Mourvèdre.
Pretty pale colour. Quite a rounded nose, with some raspberry fruit and on the palate, dry fruit with some weight. Still a tad young and amylic; needs to settle down.
2018 Clos de Temple, Languedoc, Cabrières - £200.00 at Harrods
40% Cinsault, 35% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Viognier
Very pale colour. Quite a rounded, mouth filling wine, but the oak is still too obvious for my tastebuds. It is well made, with some good fruit and body underneath the oak, but for the price, I would muchprefer four bottles of La Villa Rose from Château la Sauvageonne. See below.
2018 Domaine de l’Aigle, Chardonnay, Limoux - £23.99
Limoux is one of the rare places in the Languedoc that does produce good Chardonnay, with some acidity and finesse. This is rounded and nicely leesy on the nose, with buttery fruit and texture on the palate, balanced by refreshing acidity.
2017 Domaine de l’Aigle, Pinot Noir - £23.99
Not an appellation wine. For illogical, political reasons, Pinot Noir is not included in the red appellation of Limoux, even though it is the most successful red grape of the area. Light colour, with fresh raspberry fruit on the nose and palate. Medium weight and attractive fruit character. Nicely refreshing.
2018 Château la Sauvageonne, La Villa Rose, Languedoc - £50
65% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 7% Vermentino. 3% Viognier
From vineyards in the Terrasses du Larzac. A hint of colour. Elegant fruit on the nose and palate. Nicely balanced weight with a rounded finish. The oak is very well integrated.
2016 Château la Sauvageonne, Grand Vin, Terrasses du Larzac - £28.99
50% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 8% Mourvèdre, 7% Carignan
Not showing as well as I expected. Dry pepper, but rather flat and charmless.
2018 Domaine de Cigalus, Cigalus Blanc, Pays d’Oc - £31.99
70% Chardonnay, 20% Viognier, 10% Sauvignon
Quite a rounded nose, with some hints of oak. A hint of peach on the palate, with some acidity. I am not wild about Sauvignon Chardonnay blends, even with a little Viognier and the wine did not seem very harmonious to me.
2018 Cigalus Rouge, Pays d’Oc - £31.99
30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 10% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5%
Caladoc, a crossing of Grenache and Malbec, and 5% Carignan
A bit of a hotchpotch of grape varieties. Deep colour. Quite a solid nose and a rounded palate, with dry cassis and firm fruit and firm tannins. May develop in bottle?
2018 Château l’Hospitalet, Grand Vin Blanc, La Clape - £34.99
40% Bourboulenc, the grape variety of la Clape, 30% Grenache blanc, and 30% Vermentino
Quite a firm solid nose, with some oak, and more oak on the palate, rounded with body. For me the oak masks the salinity that you should taste in la Clape, from the maritime influence.
2017 Château l’Hospitalet, Grand Vin Rouge, la Clape - £36.49
60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre
Deep colour. Quite a rounded ripe nose, with ripe fruit, spice and tapenade on the palate. Rich and powerful, especially on the finish.
2016 Clos d’Ora, Minervois la Livinière - £200.00 at Harrods
Very deep young colour. Solid ripe rounded nose, with intense ripe fruit, with supple tannins. Very well made. I gave the same wine quite a high mark in a blind tasting (see my previous post) a couple of weeks ago, but for some reason I cannot get really enthusiastic about it. It is almost as though it is too well made and I wonder about its sense of place. It does not really say Minervois too me. And while I admire Gérard Bertrand for having the guts to push to price boundary, it is expensive for what it is.