November Featured Wines – 2014 Bila-Haut Blanc & 2013 Bila Haut Rouge, Roussillon, France


Les Vignes de Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier

This month our featured wines are from the south of France. The region has long been called Languedoc-Roussillon but recently each of these wine producing areas are being given individual attention. This month’s wines are from Roussillon which is the most southern region along the Mediterranean Sea with Spain as a neighbor. The producer of the selected wines is Michel Chapoutier, a well-regarded Rhone Valley winemaker. Chapoutier became intrigued by the old vineyards, the mountain slopes, the cool winters and very hot summers with little rain as a wonderful combination for the wines he excels at growing. Both of the wines are produced following the same principles Chapoutier uses with his Rhone blends maximizing the best qualities of the terrior. His vineyard, Domaine Bila-Haut, comprises 185 acres of land cultivated under bio-dynamic farming techniques. The grape varieties that are grown are Grenache, Carignan and Syrah.

2014 Bila-Haut Blanc, Roussillon, France                                        $15

The 2014 Les Vignes de Bila Haut Blanc is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu. The wine is pale yellow with green tints and has citrus aromas with smoky notes. The palate is round with great acidity and a fresh finish with the minerality. The 2014 was recommended with an 88 score in the latest Wine Spectator (November 30) in an article on the Roussillon region As I often recommend with Rhone white wines, the Bila Haut is a good choice for entertaining when you need an appertif and a wine with food.

2013 Bila-Haut Rouge, Roussillon, France                                     $15

The 2013 Les Vignes de Bila Haut Rouge is a blend of Syrah (40%), Grenache (40%) and Carignan (20%.) It is a deep garnet with aromas of black cherry, pepper and minerality. On the palate the wine is smooth and supple with a bold richness. Robert Parker gave this a 91 with 3-4 years of drinkablity. Just as with the white Bila Haut, the red is a great option for entertaining since it is a nice rounded wine.