Gérard Bertrand 2009 La Clape “Grand Terroir”

50% Syrah, 35% Carignan, and 15% Mourvèdre; 14% ABV
Appellation Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape Protégée, France
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 25 Feb

Bertrand_2009_LaClapeAfter happily going through a number of bottles of the Bertrand 2008 Tautavel, especially over the holidays, I eagerly grabbed this bottle.  It’s different, but also pretty good.

This wine is not as rich as the 2008 Tautavel, but it is perhaps more complex, and definitely more French in style.  It was tasty from first pour, but a bit restrained at first.  It opened up nicely after about 75 minutes in a decanter, giving ripe, tangy flavors of purple / red plum, black cherry, black and red raspberries, perhaps a little violets / roses, and, throughout, the French sort of gamey, earthy funk that I love.  Overall, I didn’t like this as well as I did the Tautavel (this wine is a dollar less), but it’s a nice wine for casual drinking, especially if you are also fond of distinctively French wine.

The next day, the second half (stored in a 375ml bottle and stoppered with very little air) was a little redder and more acid than the first half, but still quite tasty, especially with food.  However, I preferred it on the first night.


10 thoughts on “Gérard Bertrand 2009 La Clape “Grand Terroir”

  1. weinish

    Guess I’ll go over to Berkeley for this. The Tautavel was really good. Wine Library in New Jersey, owned by this major jerkdick named Gary Vaynerchuck, was selling the Tautavel for $15. Getting it for $5.99 was a steal. Should have bought more for daily consumption.

    “Bummer, man.”

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi weinish. I have not seen this at the Berkeley store for some time. You might want to call to ask before you make the trip.

  2. seedboy

    I popped one of these last night after finishing a bottle of the Russian Hill 03 Ellen’s block. It was not a fair comparison. This is a workhorse southern French red that tastes of sun and soil but seemed quite hollow in the middle and pruny all around.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      I agree it was not at all fair to try this La Clape immediately after a RH 03 Ellen’s Block Syrah. It is a much less substantial wine. I expect my reaction to the contrast would be to feel that there was hardly anything there.

  3. weinish

    Btw, I still have that 2010 Pinot from Panther Creek sitting in my cabinet. I haven’t had 3 years to air it, so I’m waiting for the right time to strike. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I recall someone said it needed like 24 hours to decant. Apparently Steve “The Wine Guy” also caught wind of this, and had posted on his in-store sign “Needs 12 hours.” I was laughing when I saw that. I miss Steve.

    Anyway…how do you decant for that much time? Into a decanter and then the fridge?

    I’ll be on KKSF 910 AM tomorrow (and rest of week), 10a-1p, filling in for Ed Baxter. I think I’ll probably end up doing some wine segments throughout the week, assuming I can get someone who actually knows something, since it sure as heck ain’t me!!!

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi weinish. Unheated Berkeley room temperature is plenty cool enough these days for a red. For a white or especially a rose that needs air, I will put it into a decanter in the fridge.

      Have you seen this wine at the Oakland store, or any other GO?

    2. jwc

      I too have several of these left, what I’ve done is run ithe PC through a vinturi into a decanter, and then forget about it. 4-5 hours later, the rotten egg aroma has dissipated and what I found was a very nice Willamette Valley pinot noir. Of course that was months ago, and I haven’t had the courage or inclination to do it again 🙂 Hint, do not sniffy sniff the decanter after running through the vinturi…

    1. JoelA

      I wasn’t able to get any Tautavel but I find this wine pretty good. It has that Southern French “herbs” component in the taste. Not as pruny as SB found it; well balanced; inteersting flavor profile.


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