Michel Chapoutier

"Bila-Haut" 2016
Cotes du Roussillon, Languedoc, France, $13.99

Made from 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignan from a mix of the estate’s terroirs, aged in concrete tanks and stainless steel.
"An inky colored effort, the 2016 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila Haut offers a beautiful freshness and purity as well as fabulous notes of jammy blackberries, violets, pepper and hints of leather. Rich, concentrated and tasting like it costs four times the price, drink it over the coming 4-5 years.." 
"90" POINTS The Wine Advocate #230 April 2017

Come reap the rewards of another great winemaker accepting the challenge and working outside the historic family zone. 
Domaine de 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 old vineyards. The domaine comprises 185 acres of land cultivated under bio-dynamic farming techniques and is characterized by steep pebbly slopes rising from almost 500 feet above sea level. The soil has 3 components--schist, gneiss and clay. 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, one of the best wine makers in France, getting the best out of the terroir in Lanquedoc, a superb combination!