Le Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017
Le Clos du Caillou is located in the southern Rhone Valley on the border of the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOP. The estate was established in 1895 as a hunting reserve and was left forested until 1955 when the Pouizin family realized the land's vineyard potential. The first bottles of Le Clos du Caillou were not traded in France until the 1970s, and in 1980 the first bottles of wine were exported. Now the wines of Le Clos du Caillou are exported around the world.
The Le Clos du Caillou vineyard includes 9 hectares (22 acres) in Châteauneuf-du-Pape itself and another 45ha (111 acres) that falls under the Côtes du Rhône appellation. The soil is composed mainly of rolled Quartz pebbles (galets) and some sandy soils over marl. In Châteauneuf-du-Pape tradition, the vineyard is planted to many varieties including the red Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Counoise and white Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc. All grapes are hand picked, sorted at the vineyard, and undergo spontaneous fermentation. Stainless steel tanks are utilized for the white and rosé winemaking, and the red wines are vinified in cement and wooden tanks. Red wines are aged in foudres and oak barrels for at least a year before bottling.
This 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve le Clos du Caillou is a classic. Crafted from 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvedre, aged all in demi-muid, it offers ample dark fruits, chocolate, bouquet garni and licorice in its full-bodied, supple, forward and elegantly styled profile. As with the vintage in general, the tannins are wonderfully ripe, the wine offers solid concentration and everything is perfectly balanced. While it’s hard to resist already, it will be better with short-term cellaring and have 15+ years of overall longevity.