VIT, Latour de France. Cotes Du Roussillon Villages 2011

Chapoutier, Domaine de Bila-Haut

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Tasting Notes

Looking at the 2011s, the 2011 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Visitare Interiore Terrae (VIT) is, like the 2012, mostly Syrah that comes from schist soils around the town of Latour de France. It offers a mineral-drenched, slightly gamey profile with ample blackcurrant, licorice, wild herbs and spiced meat aromas and flavors all soaring from the glass. Full-bodied, layered and rich, with ultra-fine tannin and a gorgeous mouthfeel, it will continue to evolve nicely for another decade or more. 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 Syrahs 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. While the 2011s are stronger than the 2012s, 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. We started out with the Marius wines, which are value-priced and deliver solid character.

Score: 96

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2014-2024 01 April 2012