A late release directly from the aptly named Domaine Belle, the wines here are beautiful, and this is a fantastic value that is showing well with the extra age. Domaine Belle specializes in Crozes-Hermitage from the commune of Larnage. The soil type here is Kaolin, which is composed of white limestone clay, and Larnage is the only commune in Crozes-Hermitage that has this soil type. The vine roots grow deep into the soil, adding incredible minerality and complexity to this humble commune. In essence, the wines can taste more like Hermitage than their neighbors in Crozes-Hermitage. This wine has amazing complexity and structure with notes of boysenberry and black cherry notes, a stony and saline minerality, followed by a touch of cigar box. Allspice and cloves layered over thyme give way to a more savory aspect. The palate is balanced, savory, and powerful with well-integrated alcohol and very fine tannins—a fantastic bottle and a great value available at an even lower price than the original release, this is a best buy not to miss.
Wine Advocate (Joe Czerwinski) 94 points! "The 2015 Crozes Hermitage Cuvee Louis Belle is cedary and rich, full-bodied and amply endowed with dark berry fruit and velvety tannins. It does show too much oak to be truly classic, but it's hedonistically delicious in a clean, modern style. It has a decade or more of pleasure ahead of it."
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points! "I also loved the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Louis Belle which saw a traditional vinification followed by 20 months in French oak. Blackberry, currants, blueberries, violets and hints of black pepper give way to a rich, expansive, opulent Syrah that has sweet tannin and a great finish. Give it a few years of bottle age and enjoy over the following decade or more.<!--more-->I always love the wines from this tiny estate and they’ve made a number of brilliant wines in 2015."