I wasn't crazy about this wine. I bought a case and hope that another sampling will prove me wrong. I found it thin and light on taste. I kept looking for the sun, the pepper, and fresh fruits. I thought a good roast would bring it out but no go this time.
Thanks William. I was about to be suckered in by the 94 and thus betray my Queen of Cheap Wine--Never over Nine status. Whew! Close call.
Wine Maker Notes
Domaine Bila-Haut is owned by the world-reknowned Rhone Valley winemaker Michel Chapoutier. The estate is located in the Cotes du Roussillon of Languedoc, which borders the Rhone Valley and has many of the same grapes planted. Bila-Haut is an old vine estate that Chapoutier farms with biodynamic techniques (same as he does at his Rhone estate), and it is planted to Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. The cool winters, hot summers, low rainfall, and the local 'Mistral' (which is a drying breeze), combine to make a perfect climate for these varietals. All of the grapes are hand picked in the vineyards, and the bunches are de-stemmed upon arrival to the winery. The resulting wine is deep, rich and a little rustic, with black cherry, dark plum, mocha and licorice notes. It will pair beautifully with roasted and grilled meats, beef stew, hearty, spicy bean soups or flavorful cheeses.
Although these wines are normally reviewed by my colleagues David Schildknect in his Languedoc-Roussillon and Alsace reports and Lisa Perrotti-Brown in her reviews of Australian wines, I tasted them during my visit with Chapoutier, so I will include them in this report as they are of high quality and merit attention. I will just list the wines, my score, and the region from which they emerge.
The vineyard is located on Gneiss and schistous soils from the Devonian Period and limestone from Kimmeridgian Period. Vinification: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. Extraction is only car- ried out by punching of the cap during a long maceration (at least four weeks). Maturing: About a half matured in vats and the other half is aged in casks accord- ing to the vintage.