My last bottle of this, and it was probably the best of the half case. This thing was full of spice, dark fruit, barnyard, and funk. This wasn't overly complex, but the flavors were perfectly forward in the mouth to do the job. And under $10, its hard to beat.
Nose of barnyard & underbrush, with undertones of soft black fruits. Nice balance of funky herb & black fruits on the palate. Smoothed out, but with rustic edges of tannin & earthy tones to keep it interesting.
This is the fourth bottle of this wine that I have reviewed.
At first pour, this one was too bretty, even for my tastes. However, 7 or 8 minutes of swirling in the glass cured that; the Brett blew off, to reveal something remarkable.
This wine exhibits lovely flavors and aromas of saddle leather, horse, smoke, nutmeg, dried catnip, earth, and perhaps a bit of chamomile or wormwood, all wrapped around a core of plum and blackberry. Tannins and acidity are generous without being overbearing or inharmonious. Surely one of the best $11 wines I've tasted. The only fault is the finish, which is rather short.
This, sadly, is my last bottle. I wish I had a case of this stuff.
Addendum: after more aeration, this wine develops very pleasant lilac floral aromas and flavors, and the finish lengthens. Boy this stuff is good.
2nd addendum: We only drank 1/2 the bottle on the 13th, and put the remainder in the fridge. I reopened it on the afternoon of the 19th, and the wine was even better...just delicious, very perfumy. It tasted like a much more expensive Rhone. Wish I could find some more of this stuff.
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(Domaine de Bila-Haut Lesquerda (Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Lesquerde)) This cuvée certainly has a fresher feel than the Occultum Lapidem. This sees just 10% oak. A much cleaner character on the nose, quite perfumed in fact. Quite polished and fresh, a cleanly framed wine, with great acidity here backing this up. There is also some lovely fresh fruit vibrancy in the end. The style here is much more convincing and to my taste. Long and crunchy. Good wine.