Robert Joseph – Wine Writer

28 Feb 2019

There are so many stories about Gérard, but when I think of them, so many seem to combine the three key elements of his character: his gentleness and generosity, his curiosity and eagerness to learn, and of course, his intense need to test himself and to climb ever higher mountains. We tasted together as chairmen at Vinitaly’s Five Star Wines event in Verona and, after a long day of tasting and re-tasting ‘conventional’ wines, we moved on to some ‘natural’ wines. The first of these looked like cloudy cider and smelled like a farm, and as he sampled it, I could see all of Gérard pass over his face at the same time. Yes, his professional experience said that the liquid was disgusting, but why had it been made that way. What was the winemaker trying to do? Why had one of the natural-wine-loving judges given it such a high score? What could he, Gérard, learn from the encounter?