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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, March 19 2020

Domaine de Bila-Haut

By: Anthony Gismondi
Chapoutier's wild and windy adventure in the Roussillon.

The history of time has walked across the Roussillon, so it should come as no surprise that eventually, the ultimate terroir hunter, Michel Chapoutier, would place a wooden stake in the ground here and build a small domain at Latour-de-France.

The black and brown schist mixed with gneiss, limestone and chalk are the magic ingredients that give the Bila-Haut wines their vitality. Chapoutier works with three grapes: syrah awash in garrigue notes, grenache red and vibrant and carignan that brings minerality and tannins. The Bila-Haut wines and the Occultum Lapidem labels were the first to be launched by the domain. Still, the story continues with L'esquerda or "the fault in the rock" in Catalan, to Sélection Parcellaire Chrysopee. What we like most about Chapoutier and what so many New World wineries often fail to grasp is his utmost respect for the consumer at all levels of knowledge. The company mantra is to make top quality wines at every level by using the same care and attention used for their most prestigious labels. It is a way to introduce the beginner to the most important aspect of wine – diversity. When we were filming at Tain L'Hermitage last September, M. Chapoutier's home base, our focus was the Hermitage and the Northern Rhône Valley, watch here: M.Chapoutier - Tain L'Hermitage. As a result, we wanted to share a short clip on Domaine de Bila-Haut because frankly, you can't beat the value of these wines. More than once, we have suggested you "back up the truck" after reviewing these wines. They are worth the search.

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For 30 years he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. His twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to 10 million readers. Anthony co-hosts the 20-year-strong BC Food & Wine Radio Show, which is broadcast in seven markets in B.C. and available online everywhere on iHeartRadio.ca. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.