Our cellar note today reacquaints us with an old friend. Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem is a wine we have tasted before. Then, as now, we received this hidden gem as a tasting sample.
Our review of the 2013 vintage provides background on the esteemed producer, Maison M. Chapoutier, and a bit about the wine region as well. Today we can skip to the fun part and pour a glass of the 2015 Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem.
2015 Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem — dense ruby in the glass with generous aromas of ripe blackberries and hints of smoke. Juicy, ripe blackberry flavors lead with interesting slate and mineral notes in the background. Hints of dried herbs and dusty earth add complexity. The body is medium, as is the finish, which is a bit hot. Tannins are drying and well integrated. 15.5% abv. SRP $30
This vintage tastes much riper and bolder than I remember the 2013 vintage tasting. As I recall, the 2013 was more nuanced. The 2015 is pleasant and delicious and it will please many palates. The 2015 blend is 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 5% Carignan, 5% Mourvèdre; very similar to the 2013 blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Carignan. I can’t say if the difference in this wine is due to vintage variation or a shift in winemaking style. The alcohol level listed on the 2013 vintage was 14%. Either way, the Domaine de Billa-Haut Occultum Lapidem is no cookie-cuter wine.
Thank you to our friends at Creative Palate Communications for offering us a second taste of southern France.