This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Fortified Languedoc-Rousillon over £15 went to Gérard Bertrand, Legend Vintage, Rivesaltes 1974 (17%)
- Abbé Rous, Cuvée Christian Reynal, Banyuls Grand Cru 2004
- Gérard Bertrand, Legend Vintage, Rivesaltes 1977
Double Trophy-winner at this year’s DWWA, Gérard Bertrand can also lay claim to having had a brace of illustrious careers. A professional rugby player for Narbonne with international caps to his name, he captained the Stade Français team in Paris in 1993. While still playing, he began working with his father in 1987 at Domaine Villemajou – the starting point for an extensive portfolio of wine properties in the Languedoc. In 2002 he bought Château l’Hospitalet in Narbonne, which is now his headquarters and the basis for a wine tourism business; it attracts 200,000 visitors each year.
All of Bertrand’s wines carry a distinctive 7th-century Visigoth Languedoc Cross, and he is proud in having assembled a collection of mature Rivesaltes, Maury and Banyuls wines from 1875 to 1977 under this label. Grown close to the Spanish border in the Roussillon foothills of the Pyrenees, this Trophy-winner is a blend of 60% Maccabeu with the balance equal parts Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir. Fermentation is arrested to leave a rich, unctuous must which is matured in casks for a year before transfer to large vats for the next four decades.
Written by Decanter