Sud de France Sunday: Where is Tautavel?

Posted on: November 1st, 2010 by

Gerard Bertrand TautavelOne of my favorite things about wine (beyond the obviously relish with which I drink it) is the opportunity to learn about and discover new places through every bottle. Like Tautavel, for example. Not only is it an appellation and town, but it’s steeped in the history of ancient humankind. Some of the oldest remains have been found in a cave called Caune de l’Arago; this skull may be 450,000 years old! I love being able to drink wine and get a geography, history, and archeology lesson at the same time. (Thank you, wine!)

So how’s the wine? Very good. The 2007 Gerard Bertrand “Grand Terrior” is blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan; very Grenache-y. It drinks like a very nice Cotes-du-Rhone. The Wine Spectator gave it 91 points so I took a gander at the text associated with this number. Sometimes I really scratch my head at the descriptors used in reviews. Mincemeat? That’s a first. I’m also going to respectfully disagree with the Spectator reviewer calling this wine powerful and muscular; it’s actually quite balanced and elegant. Very approachable. Of course, I’m tasting this wine almost a year after it was reviewed. Certainly some time in the bottle may have calmed down its more bruising aspects.

So have you learned more about the world just by pulling a cork?

Full disclosure: This wine was a sample provided free of charge.

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