They say first impressions are everything. I poured a glass of Gérard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc, took a deep inhale into my glass. The delightful aromatics of tropical fruit, floral, and herbs hit my nose and lit up my brain. I knew this was a wine to pair with an equally aromatic dish like an Indian spice-infused Chicken Korma.
This month the French Winophiles are featuring Gérard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc, a biodynamic wine from the Languedoc region in Southern France. Join us for our Twitter chat Saturday, May 18th at 11:00 am ET (follow hashtag #winophiles). Don’t miss my fellow French Winophiles’ blog posts on the subject at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: The wine was provided to me as a media sample. All opinions are my own.
About Gérard Bertrand & His Wine Company Timeline
Gérard Bertrand grew up near Narbonne in the South of France. He is considered a superstar not only for his past career as a rugby player, but also for growing his wine company to include 15 unique wine estates in the Languedoc region, promoting the region worldwide, and his commitment to farming his vineyards biodynamically.
1975 – Gérard worked his first harvest at his family’s estate, Domaine of Villemajou in Boutenac in the Corbières region. For the next 12 years, he would continue to help out with harvesting and winemaking.
1987 – Gérard took over running the family estate after his father dies in an accident.
1992 – Creates Gérard Bertrand Wine Company. In the following years, he will acquire Cigalus Estate, Chàteau Laville Bertrou, and Aigle Estate
2002 – Converts Cigalus Estate to biodynamic farming. Acquires Château l” Hospitalet.
Since 2002, Gérard Bertrand Wine Company has added the following estates to its portfolio; Château la Sauvageonne, Château la Soujeole, Clos d’Ora, Clos du Temple, Château les Karantes, Château Aigues-Vives, Cap Insula winery, Château des Deux Rocs, Château de Tarailhan and the Estagnère Estate.
Present – All the estates have switched to biodynamic farming methods and practices.
For more information on Gérard Bertrand estate and wines, check out the website here. You will be tempted to book the next flight to Languedoc.
Map of the Gerard Bertrand Wine Estates in Southern France
2018 Gérard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc, IGP Aude Hauterive, Languedoc, France
14% abv | (sample) $50.00 SRP | Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc
Climate: semi-arid Mediterranean
Soils: sand & clay
Farming: Biodynamic and grapes hand harvested
Fermentation: Two-thirds of the must is fermented in new French barriques and the remaining one third in stainless steel vats. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation.
Aging: In barrels for 7-8 months until the spring equinox, with regular stirring of the lees.
Pale gold in color. Medium body and acidity. Highly fragrant nose of rose, peaches, tropical fruit, and herbs. On the palate, citrus, mango, vanilla, and a toastiness. A round, soft texture with a lingering finish.
Chicken Korma, an Indian spice infused dish with ginger, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, and cumin matches the aromatics found especially from the Viognier. The creamy, tangy buttermilk nut sauce balances the acidity and freshness from the Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. The Chardonnay with its medium body also works well with the overall weight of the dish and silky texture of the wine. A touch of cilantro brings out the floral notes in the wine.
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- kosher salt
- 2 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup roasted and unsalted almonds
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the grapeseed oil. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and cumin. Sauté for about 1 minute, stirring the mixture. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, sugar and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
- Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Add the chicken pieces and stir. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high heat or 6 hours on low heat.
- 15 minutes before the chicken is done, combine buttermilk and almonds in a blender of food processor. Blend/process until the mixture is a smooth purée. Add to the chicken and stir. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
- To serve; remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
More articles from the French Winophiles on Gérard Bertrand and his wines
- Michelle, Rockin Red Blog: Celebrating Biodynamic Viticulture and the Beauty Of the Languedoc With Gérard Bertrand
- Lynn, Savor the Harvest: This Biodynamic Wine Is a Summer Pleaser + Saturday Culinary Concoction
- Wendy, A Day in the Life on a Farm: New Wine Paired with an Old Favorite
- Camilla, Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Lemon-Caper Halibut + Gérard Bertrand 2018 Cigalus Blanc
- Linda, My Full Wine Glass: Languedoc Wine Meets Middle Eastern Lunch
- David, Cooking Chat: Savoring a Special White Wine from Southern France
- Pinny, Chinese Food and Wine Pairings: Exploring Languedoc-Roussillon with Chateau Millegrand Mourral Grand Reserve Minervois + Chinese Charcuterie Board
- Robin, Crushed Grape Chronicles: Exploring the Grand Terroir of Gérard Bertrand with Tautavel and La Clape
- Jeff, FoodWineClick!: Butter Roasted Fish with Gérard Bertrand’s Cigalus Blanc
- Jane, Always Ravenous: Chicken Korma with Gérard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc
- Cindy, Grape Experiences: The Wines of Gerard Bertrand: Expect Joie de Vivre with Every Sip
- Susannah, Avvinare: A Wine from Gerard Bertrand: A Larger than Life Figure
- Deanna, Asian Test Kitchen: Gerard Bertrand Rose Paired with Subtly Spiced Shrimp
- Cynthia & Pierre, Traveling Wine Profs: Comfort Food and Sunny Red: Gérard Bertrand Côtes des Roses with Senegalese Mafé and Fonio
- Jill, L’Occasion: A Name To Know: Gérard Bertrand
- Gwendolyn, Wine Predator: Bertrand’s Biodynamic Cigalus Paired with French Sausage
- Liz, What’s in that Bottle: Get to Know the Winning Wines from Languedoc Icon Gérard Bertrand
- Nicole, Somm’s Table: Cooking to the Wine: Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Tautavel Grenache-Syrah-Carignan with Saucy Lamb Loin Chops
- Rupal, Syrah Queen: A Commitment To Languedoc – The Biodynamic Wines Of Gerard Bertrand
- Payal, Keep the Peas: Aude: Alive in More Ways Than Wine
- L.M. Archer: The Hedonistic Taster: Gérard Bertrand 2018 Cigalus Blanc