A Taste of France on South Beach

Last week at South Beach Wine and Food Festival, I tried a variety of wines—from rosés to reds to sparklings—but there was one booth I lingered around, Gérard Bertrand. They had their full lineup out and ready for tasting.


Located in the South of France, Gérard Bertrand takes advantage of the land and its extraordinary oenological potential, which is home to the most diverse array of grape varieties in the world. With 20 years of experience, Gérard Bertrand’s brand is driven each day by four fundamental values: excellence, authenticity, conviviality, and innovation.


One of the wines I tried was La Forge 2009. The specifically designated parcels of land for this wine come from behind the Miocene, situated on the unique and limited place name “La Forge,” named by the land registry. This parcel of land is situated on the estate Domaine de Villemajou in the Corbières region, appellation Boutenac. This wine is a blend of Syrah and Carignan, with the Carignan vines being 100 years old. The control of the yield (25hl/ha) in trimming the green unripe grapes early, is to ensure that the more mature grapes aren’t malnourished and develop to give a full, concentrated juice. The harvest is manually executed according to tradition. Most of the grapes are put entirely into vats and vinified separately by carbonic maceration. After draining vats and the malolactic fermentation of the wine, the different grape varieties are blended and the wine is sung into new oak barrels for a 12 months aging. This wine is neither pressed nor filtered before being bottled; the bottles are then stored for 12 months before being commercialized.


I was only poured a couple of sips to taste, but still decided to quickly jot down some notes. The wines was deep dark red in color, with some red fruit and earthiness on the nose. The palate showcased more dark fruit, spice, light tannins, and vanilla. It was very smooth to drink, and elegantly lingered. You can find it online for about $50-60. I wish I had been able to sit down for a meal with it and decant it properly, I feel like I would have gotten more out of it with a proper pairing. Oh well, next time. 3.5/5.


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