Dark milky amber-garnet–the suspension no doubt due to my agitation on the way up from the cellar, as considerable sediment glazes the bottle–a more bricked wine could not be imagined. Porty-smelling, rich oxidized fruit somewhat past pleasant descriptors such as *maraschino* or even *cough-syrup*, as the raisin-y melange coats receptors with its dull–but rich–one-dimensional dead syrup. Not a pleasant-looking or smelling wine, and if it were 15 or 20 I might be a bit more subjective–but at 5, just unacceptable. *Cooked* perhaps–or just bad storage–and not the first red from this producer where accelerated age has soiled my impression. Still, I love this brand, and will keep buying them when found: as great quality can be often experienced for a modest price.
It drinks far better than it smells, and CAN be appreciated or even enjoyed FOR WHAT IT IS. Again: if it were a 96 or 06, it would be an interesting glimpse into a fine old wine, but a 16 in this condition is fraught with asterisks. On the plus side: any roughness or overt rusticity has polished out, and there IS a nice streak of acid running through it: thinning and brightening the flabby cherry. A grimy piquantness elevates the fruit, and residual tannins are a gorgeous affair. Still, the juxtaposition of maderized fruit with ample body only adds to the imbalance. Its intentions are elegant and rich, but either something happened along the way or the chemistry at youth was awry, and while there are *parts* of it which can be appreciated, taken as a whole: this wine is a testament to South France ‘roughness’ not going the distance.
2016 GERARD BERTRAND Grand Terroir ‘Les Aspres’ SMG Cotes du Roussillon AOC France 14.0