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2015 Domaine de Bila Haut "Occultum Lapidem" Côtes de Roussillon-Villages Latour de France (Elsewhere $28)

SKU #1354010 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark 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 … (JD) Inner quote mark (4/2017)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Gamy and herbal characteristics are front and center on the nose of this wine, supported by a fruity core of baked plum, black cherry and raspberry. The palate boasts similar complexity and intensity, with additional hints of graphite and crushed slate. The texture is round and plush at first, but a solid grip of structuring tannins unfolds on the midpalate and lingers long into the spicy, dark, licorice-fueled finish. *Editor's Choice* (LB) Inner quote mark (10/2019)


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Price: $19.99
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By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/8/2020 | Send Email
A couple of years ago, long before I worked at K&L, I strolled into K&L Hollywood to see my old buddy David OG and get some wine reccs. This was the wine he put in my hand. Since then, I’ve been totally hooked on not only the Bila Haut wines, but the Occultum Lapidem in particular. There’s so much to love about this: soft, rich and warm, with spicy black pepper notes among black cherry and strawberry fruits. It’s wide shouldered and totally inviting with a really exceptionally long finish.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/4/2020 | 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 is 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.

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/4/2020 | Send Email
This unoaked, impressive red wine borrows its name from medieval alchemy, found in the phrase,"Visit the interior of the earth and by purifying yourself you will find the occultum lapidem, or 'hidden stone'. Fortunately the wine itself does not require digging any deeper than our store shelves, where its formidable array of savory black fruits, complex spice, licorice and fresh-tilled earth can be revealed with a good twist of a corkscrew. Once poured, its mystical charms prove an able companion to braised meats, Provencal stews and classic Mediterranean fare.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/3/2020 | Send Email
Bila Haut always. offers incredible value for people who like that awesome weight and depth that they can achieve. Not much has changed with the '15 and it hasn't lost any of the intensity it's known for. This vintage isn't the same old thing though, it's added some elegance and complexity that we wouldn't expect from this heavy hitter. 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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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!

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