No vintner has done more to bring the wines of South of France to the public consciousness than Gérard Bertrand. A former rugby player with the rugged good looks of a young Gérard Depardieu, the dude is like the Elon Musk (of Tesla Motors) of French wine. The comparison isn’t a stretch. Think about it—electric cars have been around for a long time, just like the wine from the Languedoc in the south of France, such as Corbieres, Minervois or Picpoul. However, what Musk has done is put such a personal stamp on his brand of electric cars that they seem like an entirely brand new category of car. Over the last 20 years, Bertrand has put such a personal stamp on his brand of French wine. Bringing a lively entrepreneurial spirit to the creation of an empire, GÉRARD BERTRAND wines are the result of a laser-focused mission along with an obvious love and passion for the wine of the vintner’s native region that speaks through in the consistently high quality evident across the portfolio.
The 2011 Minervois, a blend of Syrah and Carignan, is balanced, supple and fruit-forward with all-round pleasing characteristics of a robust, full-bodied red wine. There’s notes of dark cherry, red currant and cranberry on top of the black fruit, as well an undercurrent of dark roast coffee that gives the wine a denser mouthfeel. A lot of ancient history is connected to the part of France where this wine comes from, and Bertrand is passionately moving history forward, bringing to the market an expression of Minervois that is unerringly modern and relevant. –J.M.
Great Wine: Chateau de France Pessac-Leognan