Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier v.i.t. Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2014
The colour is garnet-red, very steady, deep and brilliant with purple lights. Open, expressive and complex with aromas of very ripe black fruits (elderberry, blackberry), some spicy scents (pepper, Garrigue). Great attack, tight but silky tannins. One notices a dominance of spicy scents, a lot of richness, a good length and a very ethereal final.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2014 Cotes du Roussillon V I T (Latour de France Visitare Interiore Terrae) is shockingly good. Harvest September 28, and a 60/40 blend of Grenache and Syrah, aged in equal parts concrete tank and demi-muid, it exudes finesse and elegance in its perfumed raspberry, black raspberry, dried flower and violet-laced bouquet. The palate doesn’t lose a beat either and has full-bodied richness, a seamless, sexy texture and stunning purity of fruit. I’m hoping it shows this well from bottle! Rating: 94-97
Domaine Bila-Haut is owned by the well known Rhone Valley Oenologist, Michel Chapoutier. The name refers to an old farm villa which was built high into the mountain slopes , among some old vineyards. The Domaine comprises 75 hectares of land cultivated under bio-dynamic farming techniques and is characterized by steep pebbly slopes rising from almost 150 meters above sea level. The soil has 3 components…Schiste, Gneiss and Clay, and the Grape varieties are Grenache, Carignan, and of course Syrah. The cool winters and very hot summers combined with little rain, and the drying Mistral breeze during the growing season is perfection for these varietals…in some respects better than in the Rhone Valley. The Domaine is located in the commune of Latour-de-France…just about as close as you can be to Spain, but still be located in France, with a great deal of history related to the Nights Templar, and the Cathar movement, hence the T in the title of the Domaine shaped like the Nights Templar Cross.The wines exhibit the distinctive pepper and spice of Syrah, but are bigger and rounder in the mouth, with great complexity coming from the Carignan and Grenache. Here is A Rhone producer getting the best out of the Terroir in Lanquedoc… a superb combination! And one of the best Wine Makers in France.
An appellation solely for dry red wines from Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon-Villages is a step up in quality compared to, simply, Côtes du Roussillon. The area is in the northern third of Roussillon, bordered on its southern end by the Têt River, which runs precisely from west to east. Five villages can append their own name to the Côtes du Roussillon-Villages appellation name: Caramany, Latour de France, Lesquerde, Tautavel and the last, south of the Têt River, Les Aspres.
Côtes du Roussillon-Villages red wines are blends made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and small amounts of Carignan, Cinsault and the lesser known, Lledoner Pelut (a relative of Grenache).
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”