Spring is here! I have received many really nice wine samples and the beautiful spring weather has inspired me to cook some nice meals for my family. Here is a delicious and easy wine and food pairing perfect for a week night but definitely good enough for guests!
The wine: Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France 2014. Crafted of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignane from biodynamic vines with an average age of 60 years old with deep roots to anchor the vines against the punishing Minstral; deep ruby in the glass; dark fruit notes of black berries, plums and black raspberries, with layers of earthiness including wpices, black pepper, wet tobacco leaves, and rich garrigue notes of lavender, thyme, and tarragon; a great depth of minerality, big and lush with round acidity, lush full mouth-coating goodness, beautifully integrated tannis create a long fiinish that lingers on the palate begging for another sip; truly delicious; SRP $28
The food pairing: The research I did on the wine said it was a “blockbuster,” full of flavor, with juicy dark berries and herbs of Provence spices. I certainly agree with those tasting notes and then some! It needed a food pairing perfect for a spring evening on the patio that can match all that juicy fruit and garrigue.
My choice: One of the many great qualities of French wines are they blend well with many cuisines. Furthermore, wines from Roussillon-Languedoc have those divine herbal qualities from the garrigue! I chose to pair the wine with Blackberry Hoisin Ginger Pork Tenderloin (I completely skipped the brining process) with roasted Herbs de Provence smashed potatoes and roasted carrots with thyme.
The results: I felt the blackberry preserves, garlic, ginger, and red wine vinegar would pair beautifully with the wine. I was not sure how the hoisin sauce would work, but was willing to take a chance. I felt confident in the potatoes and carrots since I was dusting them with the same garrigue herbs found growing around the grapes in Roussillon. I am so glad I did! What an amazing dinner. Like I said earlier it was easy, a really nice weeknight meal and perfect to serve for a special occasion with guests.
I really enjoy the wines of Bila-Haut. You can’t go wrong! Great wines made in a great wine region but a highly respected wine maker at a generous price point. I featured the M. Chapoutier “Les Vignes de Bila-Haut” Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2014 in my article “A Passion for Terroir: Côtes du Roussillon AOC.” Another high quality wine at a great price. All Bila-Haut wines are worth seeking out.
From HB Wine Merchants:
In the center of the old, windswept Roussillon vineyard sits an imposing rock, which, according to local lore, possesses the magical ability to capture power from the Earth and spread it through the surrounding land. And, perhaps, a little magic infuses the single-vineyard wine with comes from the best and oldest vineyard on the Bila-Haut estate and shares the name of its site: Occultum Lapid, or “Hidden Gem” in Latin.
Occultum Lapidem is made by 100 point wine scorer, famed Rhone great, owner of Domaine de Bila-Haut and wine philosopher Michel Chapoutier. Indeed, the names of Chapoutier’s three top Bila-Haut wines, V.I.T. (Vistitare Interiore Terrae), R.I. (Rectificando Invenies), and O.L. (Occultum Lapidem), are based on the acronym V.I.T.R.I.O.L., used by alchemists of the Middle Ages—the philosopher, scientists of their day. It stands for “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectifcando Invenies Occultum Lapidem Veram Medicina” and translates into “Visit the interior of the earth, and by purifying (what you find there) you will discover the hidden stone, which is the true medicine.” For Chapoutier the motto-acronym defines his own winemaking philosophy: the vital interaction between Earth (the land component of terroir) and Life (represented in the vineyard).
I encourage you to seek out M. Chapoutier’s Bila-Haut wines for outstanding Rousillon wines at great values from your local wine retailer and online. If you are seeking outstanding Rhone Valley wines with a high price point you must also check out M. Chapoutier’s wines.
My Song Selection: This was a full body, elegant wine packed with layers of flavors and funk. It had soul and I loved it!
Get your own bottle of Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France 2014 and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!