The wines of Domaine de Bila-Haut have become very familiar to us over the years. This range of wines is made by the esteemed Rhône producer, Michel Chapoutier, in the Languedoc-Roussillon near the French border with Spain. Although we have tasted other wines in the Domaine de Bila-Haut range, this is our first taste of the Bila-Haut L’esquerda and we received it as a tasting sample.
2016 Domaine de Bila-Haut L’esquerda, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde — dense ruby-violet in the glass with generous aromas of red and dark fruit. Flavors of ripe blackberries and plums gain complexity with notes of dusty earth and hints of cedar and asphalt. Savory, green olive flavors wind themselves through the fruit flavors and are supported by substantial, drying tannins. This is a wine of balance and strength without being too ripe. 14.5% abv. SRP $28.
This is the most complex of the Bila-Haut wines we have tasted. It is perfect for fall and winter dining. It will pair nicely with grilled meat as well as braised dishes.
This wine is a blend of mainly Syrah along with Grenache and Carignan; the proportions vary by vintage. All grapes are harvested by hand, de-stemmed and macerated for four weeks with periodic pump-overs. 10% of the wine was aged in oak casks and the balance in concrete tanks. The 67-acre L’esquerda vineyard takes its name from the small commune of Lesquerde in the Agle Valley just a few kilometers west of Maury.
L’esquerda vineyard lies at an elevation of 350 meters above sea level and the soils consist mainly of granite. In the local Catalan dialect L’esquerda translates to escarpment and describes the hilltop plains and slopes that define the vineyard.
This part of the Roussillon enjoys mild winters, little rain, hot summer temperatures and windy conditions. All of this adds up to prime growing conditions with very few disease pressures.
Thanks to the ladies at Creative Palate Communications for providing the opportunity to taste yet another delicious Bila-Haut wine.