Cigalus Blanc 2022,
€39.95 from O’Briens
Youthful, with lots of lemon zest, rich apricot and peach. Just starting to develop. There is nice grip, subtle toasty oak, hazelnuts, and plenty of body. Nice citrus length. I would keep it 3-5 years when it will take on a rich creamy texture and opulent ripe stone fruits.
Cigalus Rouge 2021
€39.95 from O’Briens
Sumptuous ripe dark fruits with subtle mint, dried herbs, and dark chocolate. Complex with polished tannins, and a freshness throughout. Very drinkable now but it will certainly develop further in the next few years.
Every wine has a time and place. I wouldn’t drink the Cigalus Rouge every day, but when I am in the mood for a big rich voluptuous red wine, it certainly hits the spot. I suspect the new oak has been toned down a little in recent years, but it is still opulent, spicy and very well-made. I have tried it twice in recent days and really enjoyed it on both occasions.
I have always really enjoyed the Cigalus Blanc, especially when it has a few years age. I have a dwindling mini-collection going back ten years. When I had dinner with Bertrand some years ago, I was pleased to see he shared my taste, serving a ten year old Cigalus Blanc with some Mediterranean red prawns. A memorable combination.
Over a short period of time, former rugby player Gérard Bertrand has built up an impressive array of estates almost exclusively in his native Languedoc. He now owns sixteen domaines spread out over the region, as well as a recent acquisition in Cahors.
He bought the 75 hectare Domaine de Cigalus in 1995. It is a large single plot located close to Narbonne in the Corbières region. Farmed biodynamically (as are most of his estates) he has planted a wide range of grape varieties, including Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet France for the red wine, and Viognier, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for the red. Each variety is vinified separately, with a portion fermented and aged in new oak.
The Cigalus wines were originally sold as his flagship wines, although they may have been overtaken by Clos d’Ora, in Minervois and the Clos du Temple Rosé, marketed as the most expensive rosé wine in the world.