Tuesday, March 3, 2020 Marianne Fabre-Lanvin & Co (MFLNCO) hosted a lunch at the Ritz Carlton Chicago’s Torali Italian Steak House to reintroduce the Chicago market to the iconic wines of Gérard Bertrand.  In attendance were Chicago press, Sommeliers and wine buyers. I was excited for the invitation and requested an interview with Venessa Queyranne, Sommelier and Gérard Bertrand Brand Ambassador. Link to video interview. Read about the Gérard Bertrand and the lunch bamazing lunch served at the Ritz Carlton Chicago.

I was first introduced to the wines of Gérard Bertrand in the late 90’s early 2000’s when I was a wine sales representative. I fell in love with the wines then and have remained a fan.

About Gérard Bertrand:

Gérard Bertrand was born to be a winemaker. He worked alongside his father and teacher George Bertrand. When his father passed from an accident in 1987, Gérard took over the family’s vineyard, Villemajou Estate and in 1992 he formed Gérard Bertrand Wine Company. The focus then, and now is to showcase the diversity of wines from the South of France.

Today Gérard Bertrand Wines employs more than 300 people and boasts fifteen chateaux throughout the South of France. The company has been committed to biodynamic practices since 2002 when Gérardswitched to biodynamic farming at the Cigalus Estate ( IGP Aude Hauterive ).” According to Venessa, “All of the estates have converted to biodynamic practices or are well on their way.  Gérard Bertrand Wines, believes that biodynamic “goes further than organic viticulture by protecting and regenerating the vineyards (soil, plant, wildlife). Furthermore, the “wine growing technique strengthens the balance between the vine and its environment…A healthy vineyard, a protected environment and acclaimed wines show just how right this approach is.”

Gérard Bertrand

Why I love these Wines:

As you know by now Shall We Wine is committed to wine inclusivity. We want to take our followers on a delicious journey to discovering wines of various styles and price points. Gerard Bertrand Wines portfolio aligns with our objective. There wines present the delicious diversity of the South of France from $14 and up. Whether you are new to wines are a connoisseur, there is so much to explore in this collection.

Check out the video to learn more about the winery and see our discussion of Gérard Bertrand’s iconic: Clos du Temple Rosé Below is a list of the wines we tasted at the lunch, including my tasting notes and the perfect food pairings created by Leo Enriquez, Director of Outlets and Food & Beverage Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago.

Lunch Menu

Gérard Bertrand Wine 1: Ballerine – Brut Etoile, NV ($51)

Wine Tasting Notes: This wine looks, smells and tastes so pretty. The color is blush,a girly-pink spread over sunrays. The nose is penetrating with red fruit, herbs and gardens fresh flowers. On the palate there is a soothing creaminess, tiny bubbles and notes of red berries and bread crust.

Paired with Burrata, Apricot, Prosciutto, Arugula, Marcona Almonds and minted pesto salad

Technical Notes: This is a Crémant doe Limoux made of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and aged 36 months on the lees.

Wine 2: Clos du Temple Rosé, 2018 ($179)

Tasting Notes: (Watch the video) Another gorgeous rose. This wine nearly brought me to tears. Seriously, I felt emotional when drinking this wine. I felt renewed. The nose is all red fruit, herbs and baking spices. The palate is velvety and gentle. This wine is juicy. It glides across the mouth with notes of minerals, red berries, regional herbs and mixed flower bouquet.

Paired with mini lobster roll, tarragon aioli, truffle fingerling potato chips

Technical Notes: This wine is from the Cabrieres Terroir (Languedoc). This grape are Grenache, Cinsault , Syrah, viognier, and Mourvèdre.

Wine 3: Chateau L’Hospitalet Grand Vin 2017 (AOL La Clape) ($35)

Tasting Notes: Seductive is the one word to describe this wine. The nose is ample; dark chocolate, raspberries, violets, and cigars smoke. The palate is rich and silky. This is the type of wine that makes you close the shades, light some candles and get naked to get to know it better. IJS!!!

Paired with Lamb shank stew, pearled rot vegetables, red wine jus, gremolata

Technical Notes: From the AOP La Cape, this is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre

Wine 4: Clos D’Ora 2015 ($229)

Tasting Notes: The color of this wine is mesmerizing; a glossy and deep crimson color . The nose is invigorating with intense black fruit, pepper and fall leaves. On the palate there is currant, blackberries, plum, pepper and spices. Absolutely breathtaking.

Paired with New York Strip Steak, gorgonzola butter watercress

Technical Notes: From the Minervois La Liviniere AOP this is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan. Decanter at least one hour before serving.

Also Try: Gerard Bertrand Corbieres ($14), Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux ($14)

Where to buy: The wines of Gérard Bertrand are available in 171 countries. In Chicago you can find them at many locations, check out Binny’s Beverage Depot and Joe’s Wine Cellar.