Roussillon Alert

The Maison M. Chapoutier, originally founded in 1808 and having established
a portfolio of mature vineyards next door in the southern Rhône, continues to
forge ahead with the development of new properties while also applying organic
wine growing methods. This week’s DéClassé recommended bottling draws on
fruit from more recently developed vineyards in the Côtes-du-Roussillon Villages
designated region. This appellation is part of the hillier, northern Roussillon and
is among the sunniest areas of France. Cool winters, hot summers, moderate
levels of rainfall and the drying breezes of the ‘Mistral’ winds combine to create
ideal conditions for the dark-skinned grapes varieties which thrive here.

Vineyards for Vignes de Bila-Haut are located mainly on the terraced slopes of
the high Agly Valley in Roussillon. Described by the vintner as ‘an old plot of land,
rough, almost hostile’, this is a geologically ancient territory of crushed Gneiss
and Schist: a mineral-rich rock laden with limestone and chalk deposits. In terms
of cultural history, Roussillon in south-west France, has as much in common with
Catalonia in Spain as it does with its neighbours in French Languedoc.

Boasting of using only hand-harvested grapes, this blend incorporates Syrah,
providing spice and aromas imparted from the local Garrigue (wild, fragrant,
flowering shrubs), Grenache, to add the firmness and body that results from
being sourced off mature vines and the region’s signature grape Carignan,
offering some crisp, tannic notes. Aiming to create a refreshing style of red,
this recipe never sees the influence of wood barrels, rather it’s aged in large
vats, yielding wine that’s intended to be enjoyed young over the next 2 years.

Building on a wealth of rich traditions, local vintners are working diligently to
develop wine making reputations which extend beyond regional popularity by
elevating quality while remaining price-competitive. Buying half a case would be
a prudent investment in a highly appealing, medium-bodied red to round out the
outdoor patio dinner fare in the warmer months to come

Bila Haut

VINTAGES – LCBO Product #168716 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 15.95
13.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Midi, France
By: Maison M. Chapoutier
Release Date: Apr. 18, 2015

Tasting Note
Deep garnet red with dark berry flavours, hint of chocolate and coffee notes,
this is a pleasingly uncomplicated, rustic wine that could stand to be chilled
slightly when served during summer months. Try with lamb chops, ratatouille,
stews or lentils with sausage.