GD Offer

Biodynamic, Southern Rhone goodness: Le Clos du Caillou

Continuously gliding below the radar, but repeatedly reaching the peaks of Southern Rhône wine, is Le Clos du Caillou. The 2018 reds from winemaker Bruno Gaspard and the Vacheron family are some of the very best of the vintage, and the 2019 whites are scintillating. 

Dear Reader,

Wonderful things are happening at Le Clos du Caillou and proof of that is in the last few vintages from them. Winemaker Bruno Gaspard is doing a brilliant job and the Vacheron family has never lost sight of what is important: the vines and the soil they grow in.

Organic viticulture began with Jean-Denis Vacheron in 1996 and the estate received its certification in time for the 2010 vintage. Le Clos du Caillou has been practicing biodynamic viticulture since the early 2000s. The philosophy is simple: in order to grow the best quality grapes to produce the best quality wine, the health of the soil has to be priority number one.

The estate produces several different wines, so for the purposes of our offer today, we have grouped them into tiers. Please read on and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

“Longtime winemaker Bruno Gaspard and the Vacheron family are producing some of the finest wines in the entire Rhône valley”
Josh Raynolds | Vinous (December 2019)

“This estate, with its numerous excellent bottlings, is on a serious roll. Its top Côtes du Rhône efforts are capable of besting some others’ Châteauneufs, at a fraction of the price”
Joe Czerwinski | Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (September 2020)

Le Caillou
6-bottle mixed case

R 2,190
per 6-bottle case

Under the “Le Caillou” label, there are two wines that are made from a combination of estate-grown and bought-in grapes. The Côtes-du-Rhône 2019 is a blend of 80% Grenache with the balance split between Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2018 here is a blend of 70% Grenache with 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre.

4 x bottles
Le Caillou
Côtes-du-Rhône
Rouge 2019
90 points WA

2 x bottles
Le Caillou
Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Le Tradition”
Rouge 2018
87 points WA

Le Bouquet des Garrigues
6-bottle mixed case

R 1,950
per 6-bottle case

Then from exclusively estate-grown fruit, this range of wines open with the “Le Bouquet des Garrigues” red and white. These are the perfect introduction to the wines of Le Clos du Caillou and are meant for earlier enjoyment. The 2019 Blanc consists of 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Viognier and 15% Roussanne. For the 2018 Rouge, the blend comprises 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah and the balance made up of Mourvèdre, Carignan and Counoise.

3 x bottles
Le Clos du Caillou
Côtes-du-Rhône “Le Bouquet des Garrigues”
Blanc 2019
91 points WA

3 x bottles
Le Clos du Caillou
Côtes-du-Rhône “Le Bouquet des Garrigues”
Rouge 2018
88 points WA

Châteauneuf-du-Pape
in Côtes-du-Rhône clothing

Only 9 hectares of the estate’s vineyards as we know them today ended up falling within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape demarcation. The vineyards inside Le Clos were not included in the appellation classification (read the story behind why HERE) and so the best wines from Le Clos du Caillou, bottled as Côtes du Rhône, are made from fruit from these vineyards. The “Réserve” Blanc 2019 is 100% Clairette produced from a 50-year old vineyard, while the “Les Quartz” 2018 is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah from vines averaging 50 years of age.

Le Clos du Caillou
Côtes-du-Rhône “La Réserve”
Blanc 2019
93 points WA

R 565 per bottle

Le Clos du Caillou
Côtes-du-Rhône “Les Quartz”
Rouge 2018
90 points WA

R 425 per bottle

Le Clos du Caillou Côtes-du-Rhône “La Réserve” Blanc 2019
“…100% Clairette…was vinified in tank, then aged in a mix of new demi-muids (55%) and stainless steel (45%). Hints of pencil shavings accent peach and lime notes on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is smooth and silky, offering no obstacles to pure enjoyment on the way to a long, zesty finish. I wouldn’t hesitate to put this up against many white Châteauneufs.
– 93 points | Joe Czerwinski for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate | September 2020

Le Clos du Caillou Côtes-du-Rhône “Les Quartz” Rouge 2018
“Slightly bigger and more structured than the “Garrigues” bottling, the 2018 Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz boasts hints of bay leaf and violets accenting cherry and leather notes. Full-bodied and admirably concentrated, framed by silky tannins, this blend of Grenache and Syrah finishes long and savoury. It should drink well for at least five years.”
– 90 points | Joe Czerwinski for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate | September 2020

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2018s

Leading with the “La Réserve” red (available on allocation only), with the 2018 being cited by critics as one of the best wines of the vintage, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape cuvées from Le Clos du Caillou are must-buys for lovers of this region’s wines. The two terroir-specific wines in “Les Quartz” and “Les Safres” 2018s are wines for the cellar as they will reward with time in bottle. “Les Safres” 2018 is a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Mourvédre produced from vines averaging up to 70 years of age grown in sandy soils. “Les Quartz” 2018, produced from vines close to 60 years of age growing in sandy soils with a top layer of scattered stones, is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah.

Le Clos du Caillou
Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Les Safres”
Rouge 2018
91 points WA

R 695 per bottle

Le Clos du Caillou
Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Les Quartz”
Rouge 2018
95 points WA

R 1,100 per bottle

Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Les Safres” Rouge 2018
“The full-bodied and silky-textured 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres is a rich, corpulent offering, overflowing with black cherries and blackberries. Hints of dried spices, black olives and dark chocolate provide a modicum of complexity…”
– 91 points | Joe Czerwinski for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate | September 2020Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Les Quartz” Rouge 2018
“Detailed, intricate herbal shadings mark the nose of the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz, adding extra nuance to the ripe cherry and berry fruit and combining nicely with hints of warm stones and dried spices. Full-bodied and silky, it’s elegant and complete, ending with a gentle wash of silky tannins and ample persistence on the finish. Not the most intense or tannic vintage, it’s approachable now and should drink well for up to a decade.”
– 95 points | Joe Czerwinski for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate | September 2020

Food Pairing Suggestions

With their Côte-du- Rhône reds, Le Clos du Caillou suggest Catalan sausage (which could be substituted with our classic Boerewors), caramelised pork ribs, beef tartare, vol au vent with mushrooms or stuffed vine leaves. With their Côte-du- Rhône white wines, they recommend a brochette of scallops with chorizo, flame-grilled prawns and for a vegetarian option, green asparagus with poached eggs and truffle shavings.

Their Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds are also very food-friendly. The team at Le Clos du Caillou suggests a game ballotine with cranberries, roasted pork with caramel sauce, roasted duck with mango and thyme, a leg of lamb with a Provençal herbs or duck á l’orange.

Many thanks.

Kind regards,
Simon Crawley
Account Manager | WSET – Level 3