The unconventional label design of Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes Du Roussillon Villages 2010 caught my eye as I was passing thru the Rhône section in one of my local wine shops. Michel Chapoutier is a world-renowned Rhône Valley winemaker, visionary and pioneer in biodynamic winemaking. His passion and commitment have resulted in an unsurpassed consistency of high quality wines; he’s produced the most 90+ point ratings of all Rhône producers, and 16 ‘100 point’ wines. Since 1996 all M. Chapoutier labels have been marked with Braille. The design is inspired by a friend of the family [and former vineyard owner] who invented the first abbreviated version of Braille.
His family history of winemaking dates back to 1808 when Marius Chapoutier purchased his first estate in the Northern Rhône Valley. Domaine Bila-Haut is located in the Cotes du Roussillion of Languedoc which borders the Rhône Valley. Just as with his Rhône estates, Chapoutier farms this old-vine estate biodynamically. Some of the unique methods he employs are: treating the vines with herbs rather than chemicals, following the moon calendar for vine care, and using 50-100 year old vines that produce small harvests, yet highly concentrated flavours.
Red-violet in colour, aromas of chocolate and traces of earthy minerals swirled about in my glass. Blackberry and tart pomegranate flavours were embraced by suggestions of smoked herbs and traces of meaty elements in the medium body. Soft flavours of creamy chocolate and pink peppercorn nourished the soothing finish. A rustic, pleasingly sublime glass that enjoys a meal and a conversation.
Winemaker’s blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan
Cotes du Roussillion
Bottled by M Chapoutier, Tain
Enjoy now thru 2015
*Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator