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94 Pts Red Rhône Blend by "One of the World's Greatest Producers" Michel Chapoutier, $23.77, Best Price in California


2012 Domaine de Bila Haut "Occultum Lapidem", Red Rhône Blend

Price Match Guarantee

Duke's Price: $23.77/btl
List Price $35

2012 Domaine de Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem

Michel Chapoutier has knocked it out of the park yet again with this sumptuous and full bodied red.

Our Impressions:
Fans of Orin Swift (Prisoner, Locations) and Melville should find a lot to like here. Deep blueberry & blackberry fruit flavors with polished yet juicy tannins that lead to a very yummy and lingering finish that showcased its spicy floral notes. Even though this is a “big” wine, it still retains focus and balance and never gets hot or out of balance, an impeccably made wine by a certified master of winemaking that way over delivers. The great thing is that this wine can be your bold red for barbecues or for those braised dishes in the fall and winter. You can't possibly go wrong in picking up a few for yourself or a gift for someone special.

Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnick, 94Pts:
"Any project Michel Chapoutier is involved with seems to excel, and his Roussillon Bila Haut domaine is no exception. With vineyards around the villages of Latour de France and Lesquerde, this estate releases five reds; the entry level Les Vignes de Bila Haut, which comes from a number of vineyards (and is a screaming value); the L’Esquerde, mostly Syrah from the higher elevation, granite soils around the village of Lesquerde; the Occultum Lapidem, which is made from Syrah, Grenache and Carignan from around the village of Latour de France; and his two single vineyard releases, the VIT from Latour de France and the RI from Lesquerde.

These last two get close to the pinnacle of Syrah, and will stand toe to toe with the greatest Syrah’s from the northern Rhone and California. Unfortunately, they’re only produced in minuscule quantities, but don’t miss a chance to grab some if you can...I was able to taste the 2012s twice, once last year, in October during my trip through the northern Rhone, and then again from bottle in January at the domaine in the Roussillon. They showed even better from bottle, and these ratings may be conservative as I think these wines will continue to improve." 14.5% abv. The 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem offers dark, mineral-laced aromas and flavors of smoked earth, licorice, wild herbs and blackcurrants to go with a firm, structured and age-worthy profile on the palate. Comprised of mostly Syrah, from schist and gneiss soils, and aged in tank and demi-muid, this superb 2012 has solid mid-palate depth, ample tannin and a beautifully focused finish. It’s a superb value that will be even better in another year or so, and have 12-15 years of ultimate longevity. 14.5% abv."

Winery Notes:
"Domaine de Bila-Haut: 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 analyzing 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 flavor in the mouth. Also exceptional because it is bold, like the people who gave this land its identity. The story is going on in 2008 and is now taking place near the village of Lesquerde. There, the land is made of high limestone based cliffs and dry soils over which the “tramontane” wind blows... Then Michel Chapoutier’s interest for this region rises again and new wine is born: “L’esquerda”. This outstanding wine is mainly based on beautiful Syrah and Grenache grapes from the nicest granitic terroirs. “L’esquerda”, meaning “the fault in the rock” in Catalan, is the faithful expression of a personality, of the identity of a region. Another discovery by Michel Chapoutier."

Syrah, Grenache and Carignan.
The vineyard is located on Gneiss and schistous soils from the Devonian Period and limestone from Kimmeridgian Period.
Grapes are hand-harvested.
100% destemmed. Extraction is only carried out by punching of the cap during a long maceration (at least four weeks).
About a half matured in vats and the other half is aged in casks according to the vintage.
COLOUR : great dark garnet-red.
NOSE : the first nose is quite closed with a dominant of graphitic, leather, and then intense aromas of pepper, black fruits and scrubs.
MOUTH : the attack is rich, dense. Then the wine is fleshy and solar. The final is sappy served by delicate tannins and a great freshness."


Previous Special: 2012 Emblem, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Price Match Guarantee Duke's Price: $24.99/btl
List Price $35
2012 Emblem, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

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