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Michel Chapoutier was the heir apparent of a family winemaking operation in the Rhône dating back to the early 1800s. After making its good vineyards great by lowering yields and employing organic and biodynamic viticultural practices, he set his sights on the Languedoc-Roussillon and purchased vineyard land around the village of Latour, by the Agly river in the foothills of the Pyrénées. The wines he has made under the Bila-Haut name have garnered him numerous accolades from the press as well as legions of ardent fans around the world - not to mention the staff and customers at Bin Ends!
The "Occultum Lapidem" is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 5% Carignan, and 5% Mourvèdre sourced from vineyards with Gneiss and schistous soils from the Devonian Period and limestone from the Kimmeridgian Period. This viticulturally rich land has brought forth a layered and complex wine; it was aged in concrete instead of oak so that its gorgeous fruit and terroir-driven characters can take center stage on the palate. The wine is fleshy and generous, with aromas and flavors of blackberries and cassis accented with notes of leather, graphite, black pepper, and sagebrush. Supple tannins and balancing acidity make it absolutely crushable.
94 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate"
"One of the more polished, sexy examples of the cuvée, the 2015 Côtes du Roussillon-Villages "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." (4/28/17)
92 points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"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 mid-palate and lingers long into the spicy, dark, licorice-fueled finish. Drink now– 2023. Editors’ Choice (2/18)
Producer Name: Michel Chapoutier
Old/New World: Old World
Country of Origin: France
Appellation: Cotes du Roussillon-Villages AOC
Quality Designation: AOC
Grape Varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre
Product Type: Wine
Wine Style: Fuller Body Red
Winemaker: Michel Chapoutier
Pack/Size: 6 1.5L
Container Type: Dark Green Burgundy Style Bottle
Closure Style: Natural Cork