Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem 2008
Wine: "Great dark garnet-red. The first nose is quite closed with a dominant of graphitic, leather, and then intense aromas of pepper, black fruits and scrubs. The attack is rich, dense. Then the wine is fleshy and solar. The final is sappy served by delicate tannins and a great freshness. The vineyard is located on Gneiss and schistous soils from the Devonian Period and limestone from Kimmeridgian Period. Grapes are hand-harvested, and 100% destemmed. Extraction is only carried out by punching of the cap during a long maceration (at least four weeks)." - Winery Winery: "The Roussillon history is complex and compelling, and has at times been quite violent. Terraces on stony soil, with a rich geological background and a climate that man has adopted for his crops. The Roussillon was bound to attract Michel Chapoutier’s attention. He decided to locate his domain at Latour de France. Black and brown schist to give the wine a solar touch. Gneiss for minerality and freshness. Combination of Limestone and chalk for strength and balance." "Three varieties of grapes grow on the land covered by Domaine de BILA-HAUT. Syrah, with its savage aromas of scrub and spice. Grenache, so full of surprises. And Carignan, for mineral wines with crispy tannic notes. The "Vignes de BILA-HAUT" and the "Domaine de BILA-HAUT Occultum Lapidem" are the main expressions of this terroir. However, Michel Chapoutier wanted to obtain more via this site, to seize the quintessence. It took him six years of standing back, observing and analysing to give life to this precious and exceptional wine called "V.I.T." which stands for "Visitare Interiore Terrae". Precious by its blending. Grenache grapes from 70 year old vines, grown on a magnificent plot in the heart of the 'Garrigue' scrubland. Enthusiasm, richness and complexity. Then Syrah grapes, ripened slowly on vines grown on clayey limestone soil giving powerful, silky-smooth tannins, and blended with Syrah grapes grown on the company's most beautiful schist based land. An elegant bouquet and a sophisticated flavour in the mouth. Also exceptional because it is bold, like the people who gave this land its identity." - Winery
Roasty cocoa, charred earth, truffle, blackberry, black plum, herbs and black olive bring on the nose, with a good mineral note. On the palate, flavors of herb-laced Chambord, plum, iron, earth, blackberry and lavender. Has a dusty quality, but overall smooth and dense on the palate. Nice structure and good balance. Dark and rich. 87 pts.
External Reviews for Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem
From Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah planted in a mixture of gneiss, schist, and chalk, and vinified half each in tank and barrel (demi-muids as well as barriques), the 2007 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem smells of violets, toasted walnuts, cassis, licorice, rosemary, roasted meats, and sea breeze. The influence of Syrah mdash; which, understandably, tends to be featured in slightly larger percentages in Bila-Haut wines than in most of Roussillon mdash; is very much in evidence. Fascinating suggestions of brine and iodine, resinous southern French herbs and exotic spices, inform the deeply fruited as well as richly carnal palate, where a caressing polish and tender, ultra-refined tannins make themselves subtly felt. The finish here is bright and refreshing even as it is profoundly rich. If there are two words I would use, Troullier took them right out of my mouth: ldquo;dense,rdquo; and ldquo;active.rdquo; I imagine this incredible value and remarkable performance for its vintage will be well worth following for 5ndash;7 years.
The Bila-Haut 2008 Cotes du Roussillon Villages de France Occultum Lapidem mdash; as usual, a roughly two-to-one blend of Grenache and Syrah vinified in large casks and tank mdash; mingles pungently resinous herbs, tart-edged fresh black fruits, and beef marrow in a context of textural richness yet surprising levity and uncanny sheer refreshment for a red wine. ldquo;Thatrsquo;s typical for the 2008 vintage after all,rdquo; remarks Troullier of this winersquo;s freshness, but I am also amazed to realize that it harbors a more-or-less normal alcohol for this cuvee of 14.5%, even though it acts as though there could hardly be much more than 13%. Persistently high-toned evocations of flowers and garrigue herbs as well as a mouthwatering salinity add to the allure and the finish here will leave your tongue delightedly tingling and panting for repeat sips. Gilles Troullier continues to direct vinification as well as viticulture (here biodynamic) like the seasoned maestro that he is. With few exceptions, the wines sing with clarity, purity, and complexity, not to mention performing well above what on the basis of price would deceptively appear to be their station.
Offers mocha and chocolate notes in this suave, full-bodied red. Quite creamy, with supple spicy notes that linger on the focused finish, backed up by a pretty array of fine tannins. Drink now through 2014.
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