‘Les Vignes de Bila Haut 2012 is another smoking effort that will top anyone’s value list,’ says Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate. A previous number 38 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list, Bila Haut is our top selling wine. This kick-ass blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan will mature well for a few years and the Rhône-like white is just as popular.
But what really takes M. Chapoutier to number 14 on the list of the world’s most admired brands*, is how these great value wines are made alongside the famous Sélections Parcellaires. Robert Parker describes the single vineyards, mainly from Hermitage, as ‘wines for true connoisseurs, as they are expensive and meant for long, long evolutions, but they capture the essence of a vintage and terroir as well as any wines in the world’.
Lastly, a quirky winter treat – we offer a deliciously mature, late-release fortified Grenache Vin Doux Naturel from 1982.
See our huge list of Chapoutier wines from Australia, Portugal, Languedoc and of course the Rhône on www.winecellar.co.za. Taste the Chapoutier 2011s in JHB 12 August and in CPT 13 August.
– WA: Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
– FREE delivery on any 12 bottles or more
Wine Advocate tasting notes
Les Vignes de Bila Haut Blanc 2013
Last of the Bila Haut releases, the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila Haut Blanc is a classy, pure white that’s comprised of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Vermentino. It offers excellent white peach-styled fruit, plenty of minerality and a rich, full texture that stays lively and fresh. Finishing clean and dry, it will be versatile on the dinner table, and should drink nicely for a year or three.
Les Vignes de Bila Haut Rouge 2012
The 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila Haut is another smoking effort that will top anyone’s value list. A tank-aged blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, it is medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and balanced, with impressive amounts of blackberry and currant-styled fruit, herbs, pepper and smoked earth aromas and flavors. Showing more minerality with air, it’s a no-brainer purchase and will drink nicely for 5-6 years or more.
Rivesaltes Vin Doux Naturel 1982
This deep ruby coloured, fortified sweet wine from Rivesaltes is made from Grenache grapes. Maceration on the skins takes place for one month and thereafter half of the batch of wine is aged in oak casks for 24 months. Ripe raspberry and blackberry aroma followed by an unctuous mouthfeel and berry flavour on the palate, ends with a mellow tannic finish. This unusual wine embodies great balance and its ageing ability is unquestionable.
Ermitage Le Meal Blanc 2011
The more flamboyant, California-styled 2011 Ermitage Le Meal Blanc is from a warmer site with a more southerly exposure. It offers up notes of wet rocks, tangerines, peaches and a striking scent reminiscent of the famous New Orleans dish, bananas Foster. I know that sounds weird, but that’s what it smelled like when I first put my nose in the glass. This exuberant, exotic, ostentatious white Hermitage may be controversial, but for me, it was over-the-top perfection.
Ermitage Le Pavillon Rouge 2011
Even better and a prodigious effort that hits all my sweet spots, the 2011 Ermitage Le Pavillon comes from one of the top terroirs on Hermitage hill, the granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit. Spectacularly perfumed, with raspberry, blackberry, licorice, toasted spices and assorted floral nuances, this full-bodied effort has massive depth and richness, no hard edges and masses of finely polished tannin that emerge on and frame the finish. It will be approachable at an earlier age than either the 2009 or 2010, yet should nevertheless have 2-3 decades of ultimate longevity.
Ermitage L’Ermite Rouge 2011
As expected, the 2011 Ermitage l’Ermite, which comes from the lieu-dit of the same name, is more backward and focused, with a slightly closed, tight profile. Slowly giving up ample cassis and black raspberry fruit, graphite, licorice and edgy minerality, it is full-bodied, deeply concentrated and tannic, yet still never puts a foot wrong and is perfectly balanced and seamless. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following two decades or more.
Ermitage L’Ermite Blanc 2011
Always more dense, backward and focused, the 2011 Ermitage L’Ermite Blanc has everything I could want out of a white. Flower oil, apricot, honeysuckle, brioche, powdered rock and assorted tropical notes are just some of the nuances here, and this incredible wine is full-bodied and massive, yet elegant, fresh and delineated. Count yourself lucky if you’re able to latch onto a couple of these!
To place your order, please write to Janine@winecellar.co.za. Alternatively, you can call us on 021 448 4105 (CT) or 011 027 9463 (JHB). View delivery charges