20 dollars: Domaine de Bila-Haut "les Vignes de Bila-Haut" (white) Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2014
NEW ERA WINE SCORES GRAND TOTAL: 76.5 points. Recommended. Individuality and charm.
Price per bottle: $18.0
Region: Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France.
Grape varieties: Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Maccabeu.
Closure: Natural cork.
Drinking window: 2017 to 2020.
1)Aromatic intensity, up to 5 points.
3 points. Yep, good presence. Nothing radical.
2) Aromatic complexity, up to 5 points.
4 points. Subtle depth. Draws you in. Evocative.
3)Aromatic attractiveness, up to 20 points.
16 points. Has real charm.
4)Palate intensity, up to 5 points.
3 points. Nicely weighted.
5)"Mouthscape" or "palate complexity", i.e. how much of an interesting experience in the mouth a wine delivers, up to 5 points.
3 points. Very straight forward but all present and correct.
6)Drinkability, i.e. how much the wine's total taste characteristics leave you thirsting for more, up to 20 points.
16 points. Squarely in the drinking zone.
7)The morning-after test, i.e. how this wine looks on the second day after opening and beyond, up to 5 points.
3 points, provisional.
8)Cellarability, up to 10 points.
4 points. It’ll hold for a while. But this isn’t a keeper.
9)Individuality or how distinct the personality of a particular wine is, up to 10 points.
7.5 points. It’s no wild child but the unusual grape varieties crossed with the obscure part of Catalonian France is a recipe for individuality. A charming regional wine.
10) Look, packaging, label, up to 5 points.
3 points. Conservative elegance.
11) Environmental credentials, story, philosophy, history, brand weight, up to 10 points.
Combines the name and reputation of Michel Chapoutier with the profile an extraordinary part of Pyrenean France. Obscure, I guess, but solid. 6.5 points.
12) SUBTOTAL: Add together the individual scores from points 1 to 11, above. Subtotal is scored out of 100 possible points.
1 Value-for-money, take SUBTOTAL and divide by price to give X, then multiply X by 2. 2X is the value for money score.
2 The grand total NEWS value for a given wine is the product of SUBTOTAL + the value-for-money score.
76.5 points. Recommended.
Below 70: May have outstanding features but also some drawbacks and I couldn’t recommend it in confidence.
80-89 highly recommended
90+ points: Remarkable wine. Theoretically a score over 100 is possible once the value-for-money factor is taken into account. Something around 105 would be the upper limit of perfection.