Tuesday Wine Line: Fortress, Gerard Bertrand, Matanzas Creek

The Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Sonoma vineyards on hillsides of the Myacamas range. (Images courtesy of fortresswinery.com)

The Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Sonoma vineyards on hillsides of the Mayacamas range. (Images courtesy of fortresswinery.com)

Fortress Winery is a Sonoma brand rooted in the Jackson Family Wines portfolio. The rich, vibrant 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon produced from vineyards in the foothills of the Mayacamas range illustrates the happy marriage of terroir, a great vintage and blending. Grapes are hand selected and the wine was aged 11 months in a combination of French and American oak.

Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2013, $25: Intense aromas, vibrant flavors, firm acidity and nice intergration of oak all make for a wine that lures you back for a second taste. Swirl and inhale the perfume of blackberry, cherry, plum, brown baking spices and vanilla.  In the mouth, tannins are soft and round. It’s a blend of 83 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit  Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot.

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This is a view of the vineyards of Gerard Bertrand in the hot, rocky, maritime region of Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France. (Image courtesy of Gerard Bertrand)

This is a view of the vineyards of Gerard Bertrand in the hot, rocky, maritime region of Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France. The Mediterranean is off in the distance. (Image courtesy of Gerard Bertrand)

The Gérard Bertrand winery produces organic and biodynamic wines in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of the South of France. Bertrand focuses on the unique aspects of the terroir to create authentic, innovative, high-quality wines that pair with the region’s Mediterranean cuisine — like this crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc that’s a match with oysters.

Perles de Sauvignon Blanc Gérard Bertrand IGP Pays d’Oc, France 2015, $17.99: Crisp, dry, refreshing, and packed with flavor — think white grapefruit, white stone fruit and lime zest with a slight creaminess on the palate and the added complexity of a kiss of oak. The uniquely designed bottle is molded to look like it has a string of pearls around the neck to honor the real pearls found in the region’s oysters. It also has an unusual blue glass closure that twists out. The front label boldly states: Made with Organic Grapes

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Sonoma’s Matanzas Creek Winery, famous for its Merlot and fields of lavender, has released its 2013 Sonoma County Merlot, an amazing wine that speaks for the tremendous 2013 vintage for red grapes and the winery’s pristine estate vineyards with their diverse soils, sun exposure, clones and altitude. This wine has real aging potential.Matanzas

Matanzas Creek Merlot Sonoma County 2013, $28: It’s young and its true character is zipped up tight, but if you let it sit in the glass to soak up oxygen it starts to open up and give a glimpse of its sleek, elegant styling. It offers notes of blackberry jam, cherry, plum and sage. Tannins have mild grip and acidity is firm. Grapes come from three diverse appellations in Sonoma County: Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley and Knights Valley. All blocs of grapes were fermented and aged 15 months individually before blending, then the final wine was returned to  French oak for two more months before bottling. That’s handcrafting.

You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@hotmail.com.