Butter Roasted Fish with Gérard Bertrand’s Cigalus Blanc #Winophiles

Winophiles Return to Languedoc-Roussillon
This month our French Winophiles group will be returning (virtually of course) to Southwest France, the Languedoc-Roussillon region to be exact. Some of our group received samples from one of the leading wineries in the region: Gérard Bertrand, so you’ll see a special focus on his wines. The Languedoc-Roussillon region is in the southwest corner of France, bordered on the east by Provence, on the west by the Pyrenees mountains and Spain, and on the south, the sunny Mediterranean sea. The geography is so varied, it’s difficult to generalize about wines from the region. The region has a history of large volumes of inexpensive wine, however, in recent years, winemakers have concentrated on quality over quantity and are successfully raising the profile of the region to one which deserves notice. It’s fair to say that Gérard Bertrand is one of the leaders in the quality movement.

The estates of Gérard Bertrand range widely over the Languedoc-Roussillon. map courtesy of Gérard Bertrand

Gérard Bertrand
The Bertrand family has a long history in the Languedoc. Their estate and vineyard were in Villemajou in Boutenac. Gérard started his adult life as a professional rugby player, but took over the family winemaking in 1987 when his father died in accident. Since taking over, Gérard has expanded the family’s holdings in the Languedoc, now numbering eleven. The Cigalus estate, acquired in 2002 had already been certified in biodynamics. Now all Bertrand estates are being farmed using biodynamic processes.

Biodynamic farming, hand harvesting, barrel fermenting and aging in oak. This is a wine deserving attention.

Disclosure: The Cigalus Blanc was provided as a sample. No other compensation was involved, all opinions expressed are mine.

Gérard Bertrand “Cigalus” Pays d’Oc IGP Aude Hautrive 2018 (sample, $50 SRP, or online here) 14% abv
From the winery: “Cigalus enjoys a hot, sunny Mediterranean climate (described as “semi-arid with temperate spring variants”) ensuring early ripening of all the grape varieties. This arid climate (low rainfall) is offset by the very deep soils (sediments deposited by the Aussou, a stream at the edge of the estate) which store the winter rains for longer but which are less fertile due to the presence of a slightly chalky sandstone in the subsoil, dating back to the Campanian (secondary era, prior to the emergence of the Pyrenees). LABEL DEMETER.”

The intent of the Cigalus wine is to achieve wine capable of standing shoulder to shoulder with the great wines of France. Grapes: Chardonnay,Viognier,Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is fermented in 70% new oak barrels, 30% stainless steel, then aged in oak barrels 7-8 months and bottled at the spring equinox.

Eye: Clear, pale gold color. Viscous legs, tiniest bubbles cling to the glass immediately on pouring after opening.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity. Ripe pear, gravel, white flowers. Definite fresh sawn oak aromas, almonds.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity. Full body, high alcohol though not perceptibly hot. Rich, creamy texture with medium acidity. Flavors match the aromas with ripe pear, almonds, fresh oak. Medium+ length finish with fruit notes lingering and just a hint of bitter almond. Very good quality wine, can drink now, would benefit from 3-5 years additional aging.

Cigalus Blanc with Cod
Spring has arrived in Minnesota, so I was excited to cook outdoors using fresh spring ingredients in our dinner. I found a recipe in a recent Bon Appetit which included asparagus and ramps, perfect! Butter-roasted halibut (cod in our case) with asparagus and olives is easy to prepare, and you’d be proud to serve it with company. It features a unique approach of both roasting the vegetables and reserving some raw pieces as part of the refreshing dressing for use at the table. Roasting the dish in a blend of butter and olive oil made for a dish perfect to pair with an oak influenced Chardonnay blend like Cigalus.

(click on any photo for a full size slide show. Hit “escape” to return to the post)

Posts from our Fellow French Winophiles
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40 Responses to “Butter Roasted Fish with Gérard Bertrand’s Cigalus Blanc #Winophiles”
  1. culinarycam says:

    Fabulous post, Jeff. And one that has me drooling over that cod. I went with halibut for my pairing and it was outstanding.

  2. You’ve concocted the perfect spring plate – asparagus, ramps, and fresh fish. Sounds like it was a delightful pairing for the wine!

  3. Your photos of of the dish and the wine….wow, just stunning. This dish looks so delicious! I will need to find a bottle of the Cigalus Blanc and make this!

  4. Lynn says:

    I see we both scored with the cod, a bit of butter and other seasonal items! Fabulous photos and tasting notes. It’d be interesting so taste an older Cigalus someday, as you say 3-5 years down the line.

  5. asiantestkitchen says:

    Gorgeous photos and a beautiful halibut dish for spring. They say asparagus is hard to pair but it looks like it went nicely with that blend!

  6. Pinny Tam says:

    Cod seems to be a perfect match with the Cigalus Blanc as a few of the wine/foodie bloggers here are using it for this wine. Your pictures make the fish look so succulent too.

  7. lizbarrett says:

    That recipe has me drooling, Jeff! I’m doing it! It’s time for spring in Chicago, too!

  8. A beautiful spring meal– and a great wine to pair with it!

  9. wendyklik says:

    Halibut seems to be the fish of choice for this pairing. Perfect.

  10. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    A) What a pretty setting – I would want to be cooking outside too! B) Brilliant to roast the fish in a pan on the grill. C) Sounds like it was a beautiful pairing.

  11. Long story, but we are currently without a grill. I know – how do we manage, right? Whenever I read your posts and see your mouth-watering photos, I want to run to my nearest hardware store. Love the spring veggies you added to the cod. Lovely pairing.

  12. Happy to hear spring has finally arrived in Minnesota! (It is now summer in Georgia with temperatures in the 90’s.)
    The Butter Roasted Cod is the perfect pairing with the Cigalus Blanc with the rich creamy texture in the wine and food. A great dish for entertaining!

  13. Love the simplicity yet depth and brightness of this food. Your pictures are just fabulous. And that grill!

  14. Yum! I love the combination of the roasted fish and spring veggies! Sounds like a good pairing.

  15. I can taste the wine with the delicious fish and asparagus dinner. It sounds delicious.

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  5. […] Jeff Burrows – Food, Wine, Click: “Butter Roasted Fish with Gérard Bertrand’s Cigalus Blanc” […]

  6. […] findings after researching Languedoc Wines, a region we have virtually visited a number of times( 2019, 2018, 2015). This time, however, we will focus on wineries who are working to leave a smaller […]

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