Gerard Bertrand launches ‘ultimate’ Languedoc grand cru rosé
Charismatic Languedoc winemaker Gérard Bertrand has released a new pale pink rosé inspired by a temple, that he says epitomises the “ultimate experience of rosé’.
Clos du Temple, which has launched internationally, comes from Cabrières, an exceptional terroir that King Louis XIV described as the best place for rosé in the whole of France. Located in the heart of the Languedoc in the south of France, the terroir draws its singularity from its geology, a place where schiste and limestone meet above a subterranean water complex deep in the hills, which provides exceptional conditions for vines and water of great purity.
According to Bertrand, the alchemy between the high altitude limestone and schistes will create a rosé “with great ageing potential”.
“Our ambition with Clos du Temple is to create a grand cru rosé in the Languedoc, to reveal the diversity and complexity of the terroirs from our region and to show the exceptional potential of the Languedoc,” he says.
“This is a rosé that stands apart from all others, a rosé of celebration that will be the first to be introduced in the universe of grands vins.”
Two years ago, Bertrand acquired two plots in Cabrières, Domaine du Temple and Château des Deux Rocs. For Clos du Temple he singled out a clos that clings to the hillside 240 metres above sea level, cloistered by the terrain and wild vegetation.
The eight-hectare plot is subdivided into seven parcels, which are farmed biodynamically, with each parcel’s grapes picked by hand at sunrise, and the small bunches pressed at low temperatures to preserve the freshness, flavour and aromas, and prevent too much colouration of the juice, before being vinified separately.
Before fermentation, the must is racked and clarified via gravity for 24 hours, without the addition of sulphur. The wines are subsequently aged in new French oak barrels for six to eight months, with bâtonnage (stirring of the lees).
The wine is a blend of four red varieties and one white that has been designed to mirror a temple, with each variety playing a role, Bertrand explains. The Grenache Noir acts as the foundations, with old vine Cinsault and Syrah adding columns and walls, along with a “sublime” touch of Mourvèdre, and Viognier offering “a wonderful aromatic complexity and typicity to the wine” as the dome.
The result is a “perfectly balanced wine, with great length and extraordinary aromatic freshness”, he says.
The temple theme has also inspired the elegant bottle design, with its square base and pyramidical punt rising to a circular shoulder that symbolise the cosmos and the principles of biodynamics. Meanwhile, the terroir is evoked by an elegant band of gold showing the undulating hills that surround Clos du Temple.
Since the middle of the 14th century, the rosés of Cabrières have been served at official banquets, and it is appropriate that Clos du Temple was launched last month at modern day temples of gastronomy in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, paired with special menus created by iconic chefs Guy Savoy, Daniel Boulud and Jean George Vongerichten.
The gastronomic potential of the wine will be further explored as the brand partners with top chefs around the world over the coming months, the company said.