Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir ‘Tautavel’ Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel 2013



Estate: Gérard Bertrand grew up assisting his father on the family’s estate in the sub-appellation of Corbiѐres in the Languedoc Roussillon. He took over the domaine upon his father’s death in 1987, and today presides over nearly 1000 acres of vineyards across the varying Languedoc Roussillon terroirs. He also heads a négociant business that partners with local growers and co-ops. A well-known proponent of sustainable farming, he is one of the largest producers of organic wine in Southern France. His flagship estate Château l’Hospitalet is carbon neutral, and many of his vineyards follow biodynamic practices and are certified by DEMETER. In addition to being recognized for his fantastic wines at excellent prices, Wine Enthusiast bestowed him with the European Winery of the Year award in 2011, stating “He fully understands the movement toward expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines that remain accessible and affordable.”

Tautavel is a village in the Roussillon region, located between the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Grands Terroirs range of wines strive to present an “opportunity to discover the unique character of this region”.

The cross on the label is a Visigoth cross dating back to the 7th century, which evolved into the Languedoc Cross. For a detailed explanation of its iconography, click here.Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the village of Gruissan.

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from vineyards with pebbly soils, on limestone-rich terraces and south-east facing hillsides. 33% of the wine is aged in barrels for 9 months, the remainder ages in vats.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of dark fruit, black pepper and a hint of forest floor. Pepper spice driven, with cherry and blackberry, herbs and leather notes framed by firm tannins. Tobacco and black pepper comprise the lengthy, dry finish. Rustic and robust, fantastic with hearty dishes.

Enjoy at 16°C [60°F]

Grenache, Syrah, Carignan [I could not locate varietal percentages.]
Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel
Bottled by Gérard Bertrand
14% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 91 points by Wine Spectator

Piazza del Castello Rosso Toscana IGT 2015

Brand: A label of the Botter Family, Piazza del Castello Rosso hails from the Tuscan hill town of Radda. There, below an 11th century castle is the wine’s picturesque namesake, Piazza del Castello. The grapes for the Rosso are sourced from hillside vineyards surrounding the Piazza.

Winemaking: Aged for 11 months in a combination of large oak casks and smaller barriques (2/3 French & 1/3 American).

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, black cherry, earth, spice and a hint of vanilla. Rich black cherry, sour cherry, leather, hint of earth and a fleeting wisp of candied violet are enveloped in round, soft, velvety tannins. Tart cherry glazes vanilla, toasted oak and pepper spice on the lengthy finish. Plush and velvety, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of hearty dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Created to compliment an Italian-style meal; rich pastas, hard cheeses, roasted meats.

60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Rosso Toscana IGT
Bottled by Casa Vinicola Botter & C.S.P.A. Fossalta Di Piave
13% Alcohol
$14 [SRP]
Enjoy now thru 2018

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Alfredo Prunotto ‘Mompertone’ Monferrato DOC 2011

Estate: The Prunotto estate was founded in 1923 by renowned winemaker Alfredo Prunotto. Alfredo worked for the most prestigious wineries of the time, following WWII he and his wife restored an old cooperative winery. They raised the standards of cultivation and production and were successful in exporting their wines outside of Italy. In 1956 Alfredo retired and sold the estate to his friend and fellow winemaker Beppe Colla who, together with Carlo Filiberti and later with brother Tino Colla, carried on managing the winery with Alfredo’s same love. In 1989, the Antinori family purchased the 55 hectare estate, intent on continuing the “excellent level of quality so sought after by Alfredo Prunotto”.

Tasting Notes: Inky garnet with brick edges in colour, with a plethora of aromas; dark fruits, licorice, pepper spice, woodsy earth and cinnamon. Leather, earth and smoky spice notes provide the foundation to layers of all the cherries [red, black and a streak of sour]. Silky tannins and tart cherry accent the clean, dry finish. Easy drinking, a versatile companion at the table.

60% Barbera, 40% Syrah
Monferrato DOC
Bottled by Prunotto SRL
14% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2018

Santa Julia ‘Tintillo’ Mendoza 2016

I love chilled red wines. A fantastic alternative [or addition] to rosé and white wines; light, fruity reds are incredibly refreshing for summer sipping, and a perfect pairing with anything coming off the grill.

Estate: The Zuccardi family has been making wine in Mendoza since 1963, when Alberto Zuccardi planted his first vines. Now in his 90’s, Alberto is known as a pioneering force in both Mendoza and the Uco Valley. [Click here to read the Decanter article detailing his innovations.] Today, the multiple estate vineyards and winery are headed by Alberto’s son, José, along with José’s eldest son, Sebastián, and daughter, Julia [the 3rd generation].The Santa Julia Winery was established in the 1990’s in honor of Julia, as she is José’s only daughter. The family is committed to achieving the highest quality wines through sustainable practices, working to protect the environment and develop the community. Expanding to the Uco Valley, the family opened Valle de Uco Winery last year, where winemakers focus on research and development, while studying the variables that influence wines throughout the Uco Valley.

Philosophy: “To be natural, environmentally friendly and grow in harmony with the community of which we are part.”

Winemaking: All the vineyards are farmed organic [with the majority certified] and sustainable.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with radiating aromas of fresh cherry, strawberry and wildflowers accented by a herbaceous streak. Juicy cherry, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry flavours are backed by earth and herbaceous elements, along with fresh acidity. A trace of dark chocolate lingers on the fruity, dry finish. Fantastically easy drinking and refreshing, a delightfully tasty summer sip.

Enjoy chilled between 46 – 56°F [7-13°C].

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Pairs perfectly with barbecue, grilled fish, mild cheeses and a sunny day.

50% Malbec, 50% Bonarda
Estate Grown & Bottled by Bodega Santa Julia
13% Alcohol
$12.99 [SRP]
Enjoy now



Sample submitted for review purpose.

Fontanafredda ‘Già’ Rosso Langhe DOC 2015

Estate: The winemaking history of Fontanafredda was established in 1878 by Emanuele Guerrieri, Count of Mirafiore, son of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Sardinia and Rosa Vercellana [or La Bela Rusin], a “commoner” that the king had fallen in love with. The 54 hectare estate was given to Rosa Vercellana by the king in 1858. Emanuele Guerrieri devoted his life to crafting wine. Located in the heart of the Langhe, today the estate is renowned for its captivating Barolo and Barbaresco wines.

In addition to its Michelin Star restaurant and truffle forest, the 122 hectare estate proudly includes a “bio-nature reserve” that provides a green balance. Integrated farming is practiced in the vineyards, all rain water is recycled, no chemical fertilizers are used and the presence of sulphites is limited. The bottle is made from 85% recycled glass, the label is recycled paper printed with vegetable based ink, the cork is 100% recyclable and made from sugar biopolymers.

The estate is open to the public every day of the year. “About 20 families of cellarmen, vine dressers and office staff live in our village, all employees of the Estate who are part of the village’s daily life, just like in the 19th century.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from hillside vineyards 250-300 meters above sea level, with marly soil packed with lime and sand. Bottled only a few months after picking, following a brief [2-3 month] stay in stainless steel vats. Meant to be enjoyed young, best served at cellar temperature [15°C/59°F].

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with inviting aromas of cherry pie and soft baking spices. Simple and pleasant, with a shake of pepper over concentrated red and black cherry flavours and bright acidity. Tart fruit and bitter almond join smooth tannins on the dry finish. A fantastic value and versatile companion at the table.

Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Langhe DOC
Bottled by C.E.M.F S.r.l.
13.5% Alcohol
$13 [1 liter]
Enjoy now