November 2022 Wine Club White

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2020 GÉRARD BERTRAND ORANGE GOLD
Gérard Bertrand, owner of several notable wine-growing estates in the South of France, is a passionate advocate of the Mediterranean art of living and the uniqueness and high quality of the different terroirs in Languedoc. Named in 2012 as the International Wine Challenge Red Winemaker of the Year and Wine Enthusiast’s European Winery of the Year, he is known locally as the “King” of the Languedoc. Brought up in the Languedoc vineyards, Gérard Bertrand is committed to sharing the characteristics and exceptional diversity of each of the terroirs. Twenty years of know-how ensures that wines bearing Gérard Bertrand’s signature have a unique style always driven by four fundamental values: excellence, authenticity, conviviality and innovation.

The Orange Gold is an organic wine that pays tribute to the first orange wines* of Georgia made over four thousand, five hundred years ago. This ancestral wine making technique vinified and fermented white grapes in whole bunches like red wines. This maceration with stalks and skins creates an orange-colored wine with singular tannins.

The Orange Gold is a blend of seven Mediterranean grape varietals — Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Mauzac, Muscat and Clairette. The blend is homage to the vibrancy, minerality and freshness of the wines from the terroir of the South of France.

To make this wine, ripe berries and stalks are put in a vat without destemming or crushing. This is followed by a short period (1 to 2 days) of carbonic maceration in unsealed vats and a longer conventional yeast fermentation (8 to 12 days). The wine is then blended in stainless steel tanks to finish the fermentation and obtain the correct tannins and color.

The winemakers describe the wine as, “The nose is complex, with an explosion of notes of white flowers, candied fruit and white pepper. On the palate, a very flattering aromatic freshness, with precise flavors and a beautiful balance to which the structure gives body and spirit. Sweet and fine, its texture envelops the palate. The tasting ends with a nice length in the mouth that prolongs the gustatory journey and a sweet bitter touch that stimulates the taste buds.”

This is another versatile wine, pairing well with many cuisines. It pairs particularly well with the spicy East Indian and Asian cuisines. Enjoy this wine also with aperitifs and cheeses.

 

*   An orange wine is made from white grapes that normally would be used to make white wines. After the grapes are crushed they are left to sit with their skins, sometimes for just a week or so and sometimes for a whole year. When the winemakers separate the fermented juice, the wine may be aged further. This is how red wines are made.

Because of the skin contact, orange wines have high levels of tannins just like red wines. Tannins are natural antioxidants. This allows the wine to be bottled without the addition of Sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide is usually added to a wine to prevent oxidization and browning once the wine has been bottled. In the U.S. organic wines do not contain Sulphur dioxide. (This is not the case in France.) Hence many orange wines are organic, although this is not universal. Natural wines usually contain no (or sometimes low) levels of additives. Again many orange wines could be called natural wines.

Most orange wines will have the following traits:

    1. An orange wine can be the color of a ripe tangerine or amber, yellow, gold, or even pink.
    2. Orange wines will have more tannins than a white wine. This makes for a nicely textured and sometimes astringent wine. It also means that the wine will last longer in a wine cellar.
    3. Orange wines will have bolder flavors than the corresponding white wine. The longer the skin contact, the deeper the color of the wine and the bolder the flavors in it.

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This post was written by SFW&S