Bertrand’s Biodynamic Cigalus Paired with French Sausage for #Winophiles

“Revealing a message is what wine can do best in the pyramid of the senses, starting from pleasure, taste, emotion, and from time to time a kind of message in a bottle, ” says Gerard Bertrand, winemaker of Gerard Bertrand wines. “The message is the soul of the wine, the imprint of time, it is recalling 20, 30, or 40 years later that something very special happened in a certain vintage.”

It’s not easy achieving a lofty goal such as this:

“Experience is the name men give to their mistakes,” continues Bertrand citing Oscar Wilde in the video below. “I made quite a few at the beginning and that allowed me to rid myself of certain preconceptions, and become myself, with my own vision of wine.”

One of these visions to bring about his goals is to transform all 925 hectares and 15  vineyards in Languedoc-Roussillon to be certified biodynamic in the next three to five years.

“Biodynamics acknowledges that we have done so much damage in 50 years that we need to go further,” says Gilles des Baudus, Cigalus estate manager and advisor on biodynamics. Cigalus has been biodynamic since 2002, and has been joined by nine more: “Aigle Estate, the Clos du Temple, Château La Sauvageonne, Château l’Hospitalet, Château des Karantes, Château Tarailhan, Château Aigues Vives, Château des Deux Rocs and Château de la Soujeole have converted to biodynamic farming in compliance with Demeter Biodynamic® Farm and Processing Standards.”

How did he get to this point?

When Gerard Bertrand was 10, his father bought a winery. But even though he grew up there, it wasn’t until he had a successful career as a rugby player and his father died in an accident that he returned to the vines. There he found mentors to coach him like Jean Claude Berroult who taught him about “the poetry in wine.” Read more about his life in his autobiography., Wine, Moon and Stars: A South of France Experience.  In it, he shares his journey from rugby player to returning to winemaking and explains how  he is “[C]onvinced that the route to truly great wines is forged through respecting the natural world and keeping it safe for future generations” and why ” he has introduced biodynamic farming to his vineyards, setting an example for winemakers across the globe.”

Sounds fascinating doesn’t it?

You can find easily find a number of Bertrand’s wines in the United States; last July in a post about French rose, we wrote about the 2015 – Gerard Bertrand – Cote des Roses which I bought on sale at the grocery store and in November when we wrote about cremate from France, we included the 2015 – Thomas Jefferson – Gerard Bertrand – Crémant De Limoux –  Rosé – Sud De France – 12.5% alcohol $18 which Sue purchased at Bevmo and I’ve seen at the grocery store.

The 2018 Gerard Bertrand Cigalus SRP $50 that we are writing about today we received as a sample for our participation in this month’s French Winophiles hosted by L. M. Archer; read her invitation and learn more about Gerard Bertrand and his wines here.

We really wanted to showcase the wine so we went with a simple meal yet one with complex flavors:

Menu 

  • Ceasar  Salad
  • French apple chicken sausage
  • Polenta made with fatty duck broth (this is the BOMB)
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Kalamata olive bread and brie

2018 Gerard Bertrand Cigalus – 14% alcohol – SRP $50
Blend of Chardonnay, Viogneir, Sauvignon blanc

Cigalus, “The Intuition” IGP Aude-Hauterive

n.m. (latin cicada-ae) : estate where intuition spawns the intention, as self-evident as the song of the cicada in the summer sun.

I thought it might be fun in a pinot grigio glass and found it very fun and playful, completely different from a Sauvignon of Chardonnay glass!

Color: Pale buttercup

Nose: honeysuckle, jasmine, honeycomb, more florals in the pinot grigo glass; in the Sauvignon blanc glass there is more green, earth, and melon, clay.

  • If you like a chardonnay, use a chardonnay glass, it brings out more of those characteristics in the wine.
  • If you like a sauvignon blanc, have this wine in a sauv blanc glass and it will bring out more of those characteristics in the wine,
  • If you like a pinot grigio, have this wine in a pinot grigio glass and you will experience more of those characteristics in the wine — specifically, it brings out the floral notes of the viognier!

Palate: Fresh white peach or nectarine up front, there is a lot of complexity, the mouthfeel is oily and viscous, it coats the palate and hangs out there for a long time. There are these floral elements combined with white stone fruit, and maybe a bit of guava.

Pairing: Loves the rich creaminess of brie, it brings a creaminess to both the wine and the cheese. While roasting the vegetables, we baked our French sausage which makes it less fussy in the kitchen and brings out the spices in the sausage. What a fabulous pair. The creaminess of the polenta tames out the acidity and brings out a creaminess in the wine. Polenta made with duck broth is heaven on earth and this wine with it? Sublime. Also, we prepared the polenta in the instant pot which made this a super simple yet sophisticated meal as long as the ingredients are of the freshest and highest quality possible.

Looking forward to writing about this wine some time soon — the ceramic bottle is so artistic and cool — and the wine is even made in a ceramic vessel!

photo by Louise Hurren; Art de Vivre pays tribute to the Mediterranean way of life, its unspoilt nature and its artists. Its unique natural pottery bottle evokes the first amphoras. Made from iconic southern French grape varieties, this wine is an invitation to celebrate a wine region two thousand years old, bearing witness to a civilisation and a living heritage of rare beauty.

Who else is discussing and writing about Gerard Bertrand’s Cigalus this month and participating in the 8am twitter chat following the hashtag #Winophiles?

Cheers!

 

18 thoughts on “Bertrand’s Biodynamic Cigalus Paired with French Sausage for #Winophiles

  1. Alright…I so love that you tried this in different glasses. I am going to have to invest in a selection (rather than sticking to my universal glasses). And those Art de Vivre bottles are stunning! Thank you also for including the video.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes you do want to buy, have, use, and WASH different glasses — the universal ones in my opinion rarely do justice to the wines at hand. I loved the video too! I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on those ceramic bottles — they will be beautiful afterward too as a vase or candle holder etc!

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  2. Great post! Very nice overview of Gérard Bertrand’s bio and his viticulture plus the delicious pairing of the wines with your salad, sausage, polenta and brie!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. I love your tasting notes, especially the exploration of flavor expressed in different wine glasses. Really nice that you took the time to do that! I don’t remember the last time I had an oily, viscous white wine. I’m going to remember that along with polenta with fatty duck broth. How inventive!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d love to read Bertrand’s autobiography, looks like you did? OK, the fatty duck broth, gotta have that recipe! Hadn’t seen the pottery bottles, thanks for a nice article Gwen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually haven’t read it — just read about it and I’d like to read it! For the duck broth, the recipe we used said to boil the duck for 10 minutes in water; Sue added aromatic vegetables, so it was more like a broth. We then saved that hot “broth” to cook pasta water (OMG) and then used it for polenta etc. So it had some duck fat and juices. We’d do that recipe again — just to have the duck broth!

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  9. How fun to compare how the wine expressed itself in different glasses. Very cool. As always, the pairings look delicious.

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