Variety: Syrah, Grenache, Carignan
Region: Côtes du Roussillon, Languedoc, France
Cost: $28 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: This wine displays the true character of a Chapoutier wine, it lets the Terroir speak and define the wine. It is a blockbuster, full-bodied and loaded with flavor. The granite and schist soils coupled with 40 t0 60 year old vines yield a truly expressive wine. The fruits of plum and dried raspberry dominate with spice and mineral notes. Hints of wet slate, mocha, and a hint of herbs mark the lingering finish.
My Review: As is the tradition when my wife is out with friends or out of town, I open up a bottle of red and throw a steak on the grill. A few weeks back, with my wife out of town for a conference, was no exception.
In the glass, the 2017 Domaine Bila-Haut L’esquerda was a dark ruby color, with slashes of brick red. On the nose I got aromas of violets and roses as the wine opened, but it was a bit hot at first pour; not surprising as the wine is 14.5% alc/volume.
In the mouth I initially got flavors of cherry, some spices, and a mineral/flint note. The finish lingered, with notes of dried herbs de provence. As the wine opened up I also started to pick up a licorice, anise, cassis note as well.
Walking the line between light and medium bodied, the wine paired well enough with the steak, which I seasoned and put a black truffle compound butter on to finish.
Overall I liked, but didn’t love the wine. I’ve traditionally enjoyed wines from Bila-Haut, and I don’t want to imply that I didn’t enjoy this, because I did; it just didn’t blow me away. Which is fine.
Overall I still thought the wine was a good value, and it’s certainly not something I found disappointing or would have been sorry to share with friends and family (which is really the ultimate marker of a good wine).
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.