Beautiful deep red garnet. In its drinking window. Rich and earthy with a gamey note. The Grenache is forward but yields to Syrah after some air, with notes of dill, sandalwood, and sour cherry. Mouth filling and a sweet ongoing finish. Better than some CdPape but overall rather lactic tasting. Would prefer more vibrant fruitiness in the acidity. Drink at a cool temp and within an hour of opening as the secondary flavors are less appealing than the primary.
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.
Decent Rhone-style red from Rousillon by a major CdP house. Not much nose, scant spiciness, herbs, subtle scents of Grenache and Syrah. No oak. The palate is really tasty and predictably quite alive with tangy flavors of thyme, kirsch and Syrah (yes, bacon fat). The finish is gentle with the Carignane component providing a touch of red berry, tea rose lift. Tannin is mild and not obtrusive. Nothing really shouts at you, more for the French Rhone friend than for the typical California fruit bomb imbiber. A couple of hours of air help. Drink now. 85 - 87.
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(Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem (Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Latour de France)) From a gneiss terroir. Latour de France is a regional village designation, not just marketing! This sees 50% oak. A slightly meaty and gamey aspect to the fruit here, along with some rubbery elements also. A polished start on the palate, quite supple, bitter and grippy, but then it clearly display that firm rubbery element again. Quite a rustic style overall, with big tannins and a drying feel to it.