“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:
- 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!
Who else is discussing and writing about Gerard Bertrand’s Cigalus this month and participating in the 8am twitter chat following the hashtag #Winophiles?
- Michelle, Rockin Red Blog: Celebrating Biodynamic Viticulture and the Beauty Of the Languedoc With Gérard Bertrand
- Lynn, Savor the Harvest: This Biodynamic Wine Is a Summer Pleaser + Saturday Culinary Concoction
- Wendy, A Day in the Life on a Farm: New Wine Paired with an Old Favorite
- Camilla, Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Lemon-Caper Halibut + Gérard Bertrand 2018 Cigalus Blanc
- Linda, My Full Wine Glass: Languedoc Wine Meets Middle Eastern Lunch
- David, Cooking Chat: Savoring a Special White Wine from Southern France
- Pinny, Chinese Food and Wine Pairings: Exploring Languedoc-Roussillon with Chateau Millegrand Mourral Grand Reserve Minervois + Chinese Charcuterie Board
- Robin, Crushed Grape Chronicles: Exploring the Grand Terroir of Gérard Bertrand with Tautavel and La Clape
- Jeff, FoodWineClick!: Butter Roasted Fish with Gérard Bertrand’s Cigalus Blanc
- Jane, Always Ravenous: Chicken Korma with Gérard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc
- Cindy, Grape Experiences: The Wines of Gerard Bertrand: Expect Joie de Vivre with Every Sip
- Susannah, Avvinare: A Wine from Gerard Bertrand: A Larger than Life Figure
- Deanna, Asian Test Kitchen: Gerard Bertrand Rose Paired with Subtly Spiced Shrimp
- Cynthia & Pierre, Traveling Wine Profs: Comfort Food and Sunny Red: Gérard Bertrand Côtes des Roses with Senegalese Mafé and Fonio
- Jill, L’Occasion: A Name To Know: Gérard Bertrand
- Here on Wine Predator: Bertrand’s Biodynamic Cigalus Paired with French Sausage
- Liz, What’s in that Bottle: Get to Know the Winning Wines from Languedoc Icon Gérard Bertrand
- Nicole, Somm’s Table: Cooking to the Wine: Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Tautavel Grenache-Syrah-Carignan with Saucy Lamb Loin Chops
- Rupal, Syrah Queen: A Commitment To Languedoc – The Biodynamic Wines Of Gerard Bertrand
- Payal, Keep the Peas: Aude: Alive in More Ways Than Wine
- Host L.M. Archer: The Hedonistic Taster: Gérard Bertrand 2018 Cigalus Blanc