Summer Wines from Michel Chapoutier’s Bila-Haut in Roussillon

ART Chapoutier bilahaut.rose_ (1)Michel Chapoutier offers some refreshing, inexpensive wines for summer drinking from his Bila-Haut estate in Roussillon [see map below] close to the border with Spain. We review the 2014 releases.

ART Chapoutier MichelChapoutier is one of the France’s most successful winemakers. He took over his family’s operation in the Rhône in 1990 at age 26, converted to biodynamic viticulture, improved winemaking, and introduced single vineyard cuvées. He now makes wine in the Rhône, Roussillon, Alsace, Australia, and Portugal and recently purchased the Beaujolais negociant La Maison Trenel.

Chapoutier’s Roussillon estate, located at Latour de France, produces most of the grapes for the Domaine de Bila-Haut wines reviewed here.  Three varieties grow on Bila-Haut’s 75 hectare, biodynamically farmed vineyard—Syrah, Grenache and Carignan.  It has soils of schist, gneiss, and limestone.

The importer is HB Wine Merchants.

ART Chapoutier RoseMichel Chapoutier 2014 Domaine de Bila-Haut Rosé Pays d’Oc ($15) 89  This medium pink rosé meets all the criteria for a pleasant summer aperitif. It shows good freshness, has just the right amount of crisp acidity, and is pleasantly dry yet full of sweet red berry fruit.  A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault direct pressed, cold fermented, and aged on the fine lees in stainless steel.

Michel Chapoutier 2014 Domaine de Bila-Haute Blanc Côtes du Roussillon ($15) 89  Refreshing notes of lime and white melon are succeeded by a beautifully balanced palate of white pear and summer melon with firm acidity from high altitude fruit and a dry, lingering finish.  Superb value.  A blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache, and Macabeu from both estate and purchased grapes.


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