2008 Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Tautavel, a blend of 50 % Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Carignan, is black-purple and brooding, deliciously intense with blackcurrant/cassis cordial and wild blackberry, laced with licorice and braced with citrus. Tannin is there, no doubt, but it is the lean and muscular acidity that drives this lively wine. The finish lingers with echoes of its fierce intensity and adds a spicy bite, likely from the Carignan, with a sly earthy, gamy, meaty note emerging and adding a denser, chewier complexity to an already impressive wine.
There’s oak, but in this wine it is a subordinate player, enhancing but not assertive, supporting the intense fruit and nervy acidity. For their traditional wines, producers here have never been as reliant on oak as those in other parts of France, preferring the natural force of fruit and acids, and Bertrand’s Tautavel embodies that stylistic approach.
Stunning in its relative youth, Grand Terroir Tautavel forces one to wonder what it will become at full maturity. Young or old, it’s a lively introduction to the wines of the Côtes de Roussillon.
If you're interested in reading the entire article, with slideshow of Tautavel and Cotes de Roussillon, go here: http://www.examiner.com/article/in-the-land-of-the-pays-d-oc-gerard-bertrand-grand-terroir-tautavel-2008