Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley
The beginning of the year is traditionally when we focus on how to better ourselves and our world. I don’t know about you but I feel pretty powerless when I think about what our world needs. However I’m not ready to sink into the pool of hopelessness. Instead, I’m stepping back think about the people, like winemaker Gerard Bertrand, who are making positive strides on a global level. (And how I can connect with them.)
One thing I can easily do–and so can you–is make the choice to drink the wines of people supporting the health of our planet. One vintner in particular comes to mind when I think about sustainable winemaking: Gérard Bertrand.
Gérard Bertrand is the owner of multiple, globally lauded wine estates in southern France’s Langedoc-Roussillon. The brand is recognized in a world leader in sustainable winemaking practices, including biodynamics. The practice of biodynamics is both a method of farming and winemaking and a philosophy that takes a strong commitment. It is a method of farming that is not only organic but creates a self-sustaining environment in which the soil, crop and livestock sustain one another. Biodynamic farming is considerably more difficult and expensive than conventional practices of winemaking.
But Gerard Bertrand maintains that this commitment has not only been a gift to the soil but also results in better wines. Should you want to test the theory for yourself, here are my recommendations of a few Bertrand wines you should try. (Bertrand’s wines represent nine southern French estates, each following sustainable winemaking practices. Each property has it’s own distinct style and price point. The wines I’ve featured here just offer a tiny sampling but within the Bertrand portfolio, there is truly something for everyone.)
My Gerard Bertrand wine recommendations
2016 Chateau de Villemajou Grand Vin Blanc
This is the kind of southern French white that makes the mouth water for the next sip. It’s a perfect wine for a relaxing afternoon but it would also be a lovely choice with a meal. It offers floral and green grass aromas with apricot fruit and hints of brioche and licorice on the finish.
2016 Chateau La Sauvageonne La Villa
This is a wine for anyone who loves a crisp, refreshing rosé. It is the quintessential summer wine, (or the perfect wine for any winter day when you want to pretend it’s summer!) Its aromas offer floral delicacy. In the mouth there’s a burst of lemon acidity with white peach and mouth-watering salinity.
2015 Cigalus Rouge
This is one intense red blend yet its fruit is surprisingly restrained. A combination of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Caladoc, Cabernet Franc, Grenache and Carignan, it’s a complex wine. Aromas of spice and forest floor lead the way to a well-balanced wine with flavors of blueberry, red plum blackberry and currant.
2012 Clos d’Ora
This is a spectacularly big wine. And yes, it comes with a big price tag. But there is value for the money with this delicious investment. A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan, it is still a young wine but one that’s showing well right now. It’s a wine with a good tannic structure, intense, black fruits including black currant, plum and blackberry and hints of alluring spice.
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