2015 Domaine de Bila Haut "Occultum Lapidem" Côtes de Roussillon-Villages Latour de France

SKU #1354010 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the more polished, sexy examples of the cuvee, the 2015 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem checks in as a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and the balance Carignan and Mourvèdre, aged all in concrete tanks. It boasts killer notes of black raspberries, cassis, pepper and licorice, with just a hint of chocolate appearing with time in the glass. This medium to full-bodied, layered and beautifully textured red is an incredible value and will be impossible to resist over the coming 4-5 years, and I’m sure it will keep even longer. (JD)  (4/2017)

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Price: $23.99

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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/26/2018 | Send Email
Big saturated black fruit, licorice, baking spice, mocha with some scorched earth and a pinch of dried herbs de provence. Full bodied and rich but not overblown. Soft, lush fruit but no unwanted sweetness. This is a crowd pleaser for sure and destined to be a top seller.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/25/2018 | Send Email
Every visit with any of the Chapoutier properties is a treat. From the Rhone to the Roussillon, the vineyards are always pristine sites that create wines commanding the attention of collectors and critics alike. The quaint village of Latour de France is where the winemaking facility for Chapoutier lies in Roussillon and the vineyards surround the town and the outlying area. Roussillon lies in the shadow of the Pyrenees mountains and the variety of soils plus the sunny climate have an incredible effect on the outcome of the wines. Organic practices are easier in the region due to the cleansing wind and warm days. The mix of gneiss, limestone, granite and schist soils give each grape variety of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan the ability to best express itself. The Tramontane wind that sweeps through the valley cools down the grapes preserving freshness but helping to concentrate their acids and fruit. You can see why Michel Chapoutier was drawn to the region. The potential is abundant. Always a bigger, showier style, the 2015 Occultum Lapidem is one of their best wines to date (that isn't $100+ dollars). It has the deep rich concentration of blackberry coulis and currant jam but that freshness abounds. There are savory spices and mineral tones but the acidity keeps it well balanced. Supple tannins round out the finish saying I'm ready to go but you could drink me a few more years down the road. Anything with Chapoutier is always exquisite, and this in nothing short of that. It is the best Occultum yet. With Chapoutier at the helm and the quality of this region, I can't wait to see what comes next.

Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/25/2018 | Send Email
So full disclosure, I sort of dread the arrival of the Bila-Haut each year. Yes it offers incredible value for people who like that awesome weight and depth that they can achieve, but for my palate I often find them difficult to drink because they're either too tannic or over ripe. I'm not sure what has changed with the '15 but it hasn't lost any of the intensity it's known for. Instead, it's added some gorgeous soft tannins and a more complex structure compared to previous vintages. Maybe the warm year meant picking a little closer to perfect ripeness to achieve the weight they require allowing them to retaining structure. Whatever it is this is easily the best Bila Haut we've seen in a years. Dense dark fruit, fresh ground espresso beans, wafting garrigue and something unmistakably ferrous. On the palate deep and heavy but not at all sweet. The core of dark berries is pulled through on the palate by wisps of savory smoke and deep earthiness keep it from feeling at all modern.

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
If you love the super rich, high octane, dark wines of the south of France, this is one not to be missed. It has a ton of confiture de mûres fruit up front, and a gargantuan amount of structure on the back. What a powerhouse!

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
The nose of this wine makes me think Medieval; it is dark, mysterious, smoky, and wild and a bit sauvage. On the palate the wine has weight, structure and shows a bit of gritty, tannic texture first then the dark, brooding fruit explodes across your palate. Deeply flavored with lots of spicy notes thrown in with a bit of earth and intrigue, the finish has lots of spice. This wine says BBQ to me, wild and a lots of flavors in the air!
Drink from 2018 to 2022

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
This is one big boy, with an impressive display of dark fruits, spice and licorice. It's not fruit only, though, as there is a meaty, almost salty mineral quality to this Roussillon wine. Always popular with our customers, and I can absolutely see why as it's well made, packed with flavor and should cellar well in the short to mid-term.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
Juicy, dark, rich, supple, and intense. This easy drinker is sure to delight just about everyone. It's aged completely in concrete tanks, so you've got nothing interfering with the purest expression of fruit in all of its complexity, both sweet and savory. In the best vintages like 2015, taking advantage of wines like this is important. It's not necessary to spend a fortune to get a taste of the best a region has to offer!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Rhone Blends

Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Languedoc-Roussillon

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5
Organic: