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WA91-93: A Chapoutier “Jaw-Dropper” Estate Red For Under $11 - 03/22/2017 - French Regional Wines

Since Chapoutier began his project in the Roussillon over ten years ago, he has delivered one outstanding value after another. His most recent bottling of "Les Vignes de Bila Haut" might just be the best of them all. A Grenache and Syrah driven blend, it’s so stunning it’s hard to believe it’s categorized as an “entry level” wine. Remarkably deep and complex, this 2015 is a clear illustration that Chapoutier’s decision to set up camp in the Roussillon was the right one. For those who’ve enjoyed this cuvee before prepared to be impressed and those who have yet to try get ready for one of the best, show-stopping values we have in the store.

Having been aged in concrete and stainless steel there is breathtaking purity here with clearly defined flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, and cherry-liqueur shining forth. The fruit is admirably joined by more savory touches of Asian spice, wild herbs, and licorice. Everything is on a perfectly composed frame that makes it a true delight to drink. We were excited about the Bila Haut project when it first started, but now seeing what it has grown into over the years we couldn’t be more pleased by the font of outstanding values it has produced. Make sure to stock-up on this top-selling red as it’s the perfect go-to bottle for just about any occasion.

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2015 Domaine de Bila Haut "Les Vignes de Bila Haut" Côtes du Roussillon Villages ($10.99)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The jaw-dropper in the lineup was the quality of the 2015 Haut Cotes de Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut. While the entry level wine from this estate, the quality here is incredible, especially at the price point. Made from 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignan from a mix of the estates terroirs, aged in concrete tanks and stainless steel, it offers a rich, concentrated and serious feel to go with fabulously pure notes of blackberries, black raspberries, crushed rock and melted licorice. Thick, unctuous and luxuriously textured, this will certainly be the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date. (JD)" (04/2016)

90 points Wine Spectator: "This has finesse, with an iron core surrounded by blackberry, cassis, plum and garrigue flavors. Full tannins offer structure, with details of olive and bay leaf that linger into the savory finish. Drink now through 2020. 60,000 cases made. (GS)" (02/2017)

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 21, 2017

Berry jam right up front, followed by darker plum through the palate peppered with subtle notes of licorice. Velvety tannins offer grippy structure without hindering approachability. Bila Haut is a big boy in Chapoutiers lineup, showing plenty of black fruit and spice, and when combined with the stellar 2015 vintage, really delivers. Plus the price is great!

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 20, 2017

Michel Chapoutier may be one of the masters of the northern Rhone but he has rapidly become the master of Roussillon. The 2015 "Les Vignes" represents about the eighth one of this entry wine from this project that we have worked with and (not trying to sound hyperbolic) this is the best one to date. Chapoutier began this project over 10 years ago sensing the potential in the Roussillon with its diverse soil types and consistently warm weather. It is an ideal growing place for Grenache and Syrah. The Les Vignes, itself, has always been a wine of pure pleasure but that is simply not enough for Mr. Chapoutier. Pushing the quality and selection higher each year the wine has gotten fresher, deeper and more complex. Now 2015 represents a new benchmark in Roussillon for vintages and here is that perfect storm of quality production and great vintage colliding. The wine is simply gorgeous with its rich cherry liqueur-like fruit and savory Indian spices. It walks the tight rope of intensity and weight but the harmonious tannins and fine acidity keep the wine perfectly in balance. We are treated to many great values like this from Roussillon like Lafage, Mas Karolina, Cabirau. This stridently sits at the top of the heap with the best of them.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 18, 2017

This wine packs some heat. Aromas of violets and plums lead into baked fruits and a soft mouthfeel. Crank up the Led Zeppelin, toss the meat on the grill, kick your feet up, and relax.

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 10, 2017

If you've ever driven through rural Pennsylvania in the dead of summer, you've probably seen a small town diner, or bakery. If you knew what was good for you, you would have ordered a slice of blackberry pie. Picked from local berries at the peak of ripeness, and cooked down inside the crust into an unctuous liquor of sugary sweetness with a whip of tart acidity. The 2015 Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon encapsulates that experience. There is a power to the fruit: the taste of blackberries and boysenberries that dominate the palate. The acidity is almost startling, adding freshness and crisp snap. This is a simple and delicious wine, and for me, perfect for a summer evening.