I love a good rosé and I love a good Rhône wine, so it’s a safe bet that a Rhône-style rosé would be right up my alley. Predominantly familiar with the California take on Rhône varietals, I was excited to receive the Gérard Bertrand 2016 Cote des Roses and taste the Languedoc AOC’s expression of these most familiar varietals.

About the Wine: Languedoc — known for its diverse climate and terroir and for producing a wide array of well-known grape varieties, excels in its expression of Rhône varietals. Gérard Bertrand is a well-established name in the wine industry, and this 20-year success has allowed the winery to purchase land in almost every major appellation of the Languedoc AOC (and distribute internationally). So, when sourcing grapes for this Rhône-style rosé, you can be sure they turned toward the regions where each grape thrives the best.

Languedoc regions sourced for Cote de Roses

Gérard Bertrand 2016 Cote des Roses is a Rhône-style rosé made up of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah (exact percentages unknown). Each grape variety was harvested separately and kept separate during the fermentation and aging process until the resulting wines achieved the desired flavors and textures. The grapes are de-stemmed, cooled, and transferred to the press to extract the rosé must. After the juice settles, fermentation takes place over 15 – 30 days. The wine is then fined, blended, and bottled.

Flavor Profile: From the bottle, the Gérard Bertrand 2016 Cote des Roses emits a classic rosé bouquet of tropical fruits and light-pink petaled flowers. The wine settles into the glass with a pale pink hue and just a hint of peach, reminiscent of a bridesmaid’s “blush” colored dress.

Initial aromas are filled with strawberries, watermelon, spray roses, fresh rain water and maybe a hint of something sweeter (a bigger whiff indicates a bit of bubblegum essence). Swirl, and release a few savory elements to the nose including lemongrass and grapefruit zest.

On the palate this rosé is quite floral — like sticking your face in a bush combined with roses, wildflowers, plush greenery, stick-like branches, and pollen. It’s surprisingly off-dry, pushing those fruits to the background and embracing the earth. About three-quarters through the tasting, some “tannin-like” textures emerge, coating the tongue, and creating a (pleasantly) surprising solid finish. The acidity is quite mellow, but strong enough to keep the rosé cool, crisp, and refreshing, never overpowering the palate with any tingling tongue or warming chest sensations.

Let the wine linger a bit longer in the mouth and you’ll find an undertone of nut skins (I tasted Brazil nut). Swallow, and the aftertaste leaves you with a beautiful potpourri of dried flowers.

Food Pairing: I paired the Gérard Bertrand 2016 Cote des Roses with a grilled swordfish steak, coconut rice, and mango salsa. The dryness of the wine accentuated and perfectly contrasted the sweetness in the mango and the sourness in the lime juice. What I truly appreciated was the strength of this rosé. While a weaker wine may have succumbed to the fruits in the salsa and the tropical nature of the rice, the Gérard Bertrand 2016 Cote des Roses held its own it taste (floral) and texture (off-dry). A perfect accompaniment to the hearty fish and flavors of the dish.

More Info: I received the Gérard Bertrand 2016 Cote des Roses as a sample for review from Total Wine. (Cheers, Megan!) Retail: $11.79. I’ve also seen this wine at Safeway. To learn more about Gérard Bertrand wines, please visit the Gérard Bertrand website.

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