Michel Chapoutier\’s Domaine de Bila-Haut

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The Chapoutier family has been making wines in the Rhone since the 1800s. When Michel Chapoutier took over the family business in 1990 he began converting all the vineyards to Biodynamics and his wines have now won international acclaim.

Domaine de Bila-Haut represents Chapoutier\’s expansion into the Languedoc-Rousillon region. He was attracted to the region for it\’s terroir, old-style ways and an interest in making Syrah wines outside his Rhone comfort zone. As he puts in his poetic way:

“My idea is to make a picture of the terroir. I don’t want to make a Chapoutier wine in the Roussillon. We have to learn to be subordinated to the terroir. We are not interventionists. We are just here to help. The potential of the quality is only created in the vineyard…..the wine we extract is the blood of the earth.”

In 2000, he purchased the 75 hectares of the Bila Haut property in Latour-de-France. The land was in poor condition and he was \”determined to take on these vineyards which for years had not been cared for properly, farm them biodynamically and reduce the yields.”

Tasting Notes:

Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc Côtes du Roussillon 2009

Produced from a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Macabeu grown on limestone and clay soils in the Agly valley and on granite soils at higher altitude sites. After pressing, the must was cold-settled, vinification performed in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, and aged a few months in stainless steel tanks.

Floral nose. Fruity, minerals on the palate, very citrusy. A balanced wine, but balanced at a light level. Low acidity, good sipping wine and a match with simple grilled seafood or poultry.

Domaine de Bila-Haut L’esquerda Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerda 2008

Produced from a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan grapes grown on a highly sloped hilltop vineyard in L’esquerda. This elevated site of about 350 meters in altitude has a granite soil composition with excellent drainage.

Lighter spicy nose with a stronger impression on the palate. Berryish. Balanced, though at a light level like it\’s sibling above. Great wine for picnic fare.


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