There is just something about wines from France. Don’t get me wrong, I love all wine regions, but French wine — whether it’s the long-held associations of romance or France’s distinct sense of place — hold a special appeal.
A recent visit to Arkansas from Gerard Bertrand of Gerard Bertrand Winery, confirmed my preference for these consistent and true wines.
As is the case with most successful brands, there is a story behind the person and vision. Gerard Bertrand’s father began young Bertrand’s wine education at the tender age of 10. Today he is recognized not only as an owner of some of the most exceptional wineries in the south of France but for his dedication to the unique terroir of southern France. He was raised in the vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon area and continued to pursue his passion there. Before taking over the family winery upon his father’s death, Bertrand was a professional rugby player for RC Narbonne and Stade Francais.
His wines express the diversity of each terroir of the southern French regions. The portfolio of wines the company offers is extensive, ranging from dry and sweet; sparkling and still; red, white and rose.
Many may look more to Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone for their French wines, but I urge you to reconsider. It may not be as well-known, but I have always looked to the Languedoc-Roussillon region for uniqueness and exceptional value. By value, I don’t necessarily mean inexpensive. It’s more about the quality of what you are getting in the bottle. Many of these wines are a style we are more familiar with in the Rhone region, where prices can be almost double.
The portfolio of Gerard Bertrand is extensive, so you have lots of exploring ahead. But here are two to get you started, keeping in mind the unique nature of why I love these wines: Each wine conveys its distinct sense of place.
- 2016 Gerard Bertrand Perles de Sauvignon Blanc (about $20 retail)
- 2013 Domaine de Villemajou Grand Vin (about $50 retail)