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Gérard Bertrand: The Man, The Wines

By David Munday, Trainee Manager, Majestic Stratford

Gerard BertrandGérard Bertrand is a name which is increasingly becoming synonymous with quality and excellence in the world of wine. The former French international rugby player is proprietor of over 600 hectares of of land in some of France’s best wine producing regions. But where did this passion for wine come from, and what drives him…?

As an illustrious rugby career drew to a close, Gérard decided to pursue a new business venture that would gather together some the best winemakers from the Languedoc alongside his own wine-making activities… The Languedoc surrounds the City of Montpellier and benefits from a limestone soil, which, paired with its consistent Mediterranean climate, offers great conditions for fantastic wines to be made and this helped Gérard achieve his hope to help re-establish the Languedoc as a great wine producing region. To get to this stage Gérard went about developing a new venture with those winemakers and estates that shared his scope of ambition. From his native appellation of the Corbières, introducing a new range of wines into the region was always going to be a difficult affair. They had to convince a sceptical cultural audience of the revolution they were seeking to implant, in addition to meeting demanding consumer expectations of quality. In order to expand the horizons of his venture he chose to systematically invest in other wines of the Languedoc which had strong potential. In 1994 he bought the Cigalus Vin de Pays d’Oc parcels, then three years later the 58 hectares of Château Laville-Bertrou in Minervois La Livinière. From 1992 to 1998, Gérard Bertrand and his team (15 people at that time) “worked the land” and “scoured” unknown terrain in search of the real quality hidden in New Languedoc.

Gerard Bertrand's vineyardsOf course, a key determiner in the success of any business is to understand, and cater for, the needs of your customer. This is where Gérard excelled, understanding the on-going evolution of consumer preference towards expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines. By offering great wines at fair prices his success was immediate and he quickly gained a reputation as a point of reference in the opinion of the professionals. Gérard’s motivation and enthusiasm have enabled him to take on the biggest commercial players both in France and abroad. With success knocking at the door, Gérard Bertrand has seized the moment to invest in the means of production at each domain, to reinforce the teams who work his properties, and to develop marketing strategies fit for the 21st century. One such move was to develop the concept of the “Gérard Bertrand” signature wines for the varietal wines, the Appellation wines, and for the wines of the domains and châteaux.

The proof of his efforts and the quality of his wines is reflected by how quickly consumers take up Gérard Bertrand’s wines and return to them again and again.

We stock a variety of his delicious wines at Majestic, including…

Viognier Réserve Spéciale 2010 Gérard Bertrand, Vin de Pays d’Oc

With a powerful stone and tropical fruit nose, this wine promises much, and more then delivers on the palate. The peach notes in this wine are intensified on the palate, offering a great flavour with a minerality that will linger. This, coupled with a refreshing acidity makes this wine an ideal pairing with the summer sunshine.

Food Match: Poached chicken on a bed of rocket leaves

£7.99 or buy 2 save £3 = £6.49*

why not try also…

Muscat Sec 2009/2010 Gérard Bertrand, Vin de Pays d’Oc

A rare dry Muscat wine from one of the top producers from the Languedoc. Pale yellow in colour, the nose shows aromas of exotic fruit and blossom, which develop on the rich, medium-bodied palate. With a lively acidity on the finish, and a dry, flinty conclusion.

Food Match: Enjoy this as an excellent aperitif, but would also make a great partner to asparagus, artichokes or fish.

£6.99 or buy 2 save £2 = £5.99*

Grand Terroir Montpeyroux 2008 Gérard Bertrand

Montpeyroux is ideally located between the Mediterranean sea and Larzac mountains and has gained a distinctive reputation for its preserved landscapes and chalky soils. Made from a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan and Grenache, the Montpeyroux vineyards (meaning ‘Stone Mount’) produce wines with wonderful concentration and deep colour with aromas of ripe fruit and peppery spices.

Food Match: Ideal alongside poultry and ripe cheese.

£8.99 or buy 2 save £3 = £7.49*

For a really special treat why not indulge in our following Fine Wine recommendation:

Château l’Hospitalet 2008 Grand Vin, Gérard Bertrand

The flagship wine of Gérard Bertrand’s broad range, created from prime vineyard sites on the steep, rocky slopes surrounding La Clape, where the estate stands overlooking its 1000 hectares of vineyards, pine forests and heathland. This muscular wine displays an intense blend of firm tannins, inky black fruit and lifted spice and floral aromas, smoothed and integrated by the influence of over a year in French oak barriques. Meaty and robust, this wine will show its best after 3-5 years’ cellarage.

Food Match: Discover the true potential of this wine by pairing it with red meats and game.

£19.99* per bottle

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*Prices valid until 2nd May 2011