2014 Gérard Bertrand Chateau la Sauvageonne Grand Vin, Terrasses du Larzac, France
This Cuvée Grand Vin made by Gérard Bertrand was made from grapes grown in the Terrasses du Larzac sub-region of Languedoc, France.
The Terrasses du Larzac appellation is located in the northern reaches of the Hérault département, a rughed area known for its substantial day/night temperature variations. The relative distance from the sea compared to other wines from Languedoc, relatively high altitude, and proximity to the Causse plateau provide some cool summer nights.
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Despite being very much of a Southern France area, the grapes mature more slowly here, preserving freshness in the aromatic/flavor profile and retaining acidity.
Some of the Syrah was vinified as whole-bunch, undergoing carbonic maceration. The rest of it and the Grenache were more traditionally de-stemmed and crushed.
This Languedoc red comes in a rather dark red color, very dark and nearly black to the core (although you can still see through, it’s not that huge and dense a wine!), dark red to the rim.
The nose is powerful and feels dark, filled with licorice and clove scents. It first appears mainly as having a savory profile. Hints of leather and black pepper accentuate this smelling sensation.
Only on the background are some ripe red berry fruit aromas. It smells warm and hearty, ripe and rich, with a distinct earthiness and savoriness suggesting this is a wine of terroir and expression of its land rather than just very ripe fermented grape juice.
The palate however, does bring up its share of fruitiness. It’s crisper and fresher than expected from the nose, with clear fresh raspberry flavors that makes it taste positively acidic and vibrantly fruity.
The body is quite medium for this type of dark red wine, which here is a good thing making it approachable and not heavy.
Tannins are quite dense, but they’re so smooth and silky. They’re soft and easy.
Plenty of oaky flavors highlight the wine’s suavity further: vanilla and sweet spices provide depth as well as a comforting feel.
Touches of clove, nutmeg and black pepper spices lift up the senses and the wine’s level of complexity.
A very well made and pleasant red Languedoc wine. Multifaceted, it delivers richness of ripe fruit character from Southern France, combined with oak and smooth tannins, with an enjoyable acidic red berry freshness, as well as spices, earthiness and dark cocoa tones.
The whole feels complete and very well rounded, ready to please most palates, match many foods, and deliver a fair share of hedonistic pleasure to the tasters.