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Le Clos du Caillou Les Quartz Côtes-du-Rhône 2016
- Great Domaines
- The Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
"Exceeding my prebottling expectations, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz is a terrific effort that puts many Châteauneufs to shame. Aromas of crushed stone and raspberries mark the nose of this 85-15 Grenache-Syrah blend. It's full-bodied and rich, with hints of chocolaty ripeness balanced by citrus zest on the lengthy finish." - Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
85% Grenache, 15% Syrah
2018 - -2025
Vinification in concrete tanks with wild yeasts.
Vineyards & vinification:
Pump-over, manual punch-down and delestages are made during all the grape maceration (35 days).
Travel to the commune of Courthézon in the AOC of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and right on the border you’ll find the estate of Le Clos de Caillou. Once a lodge dedicated to hunting, it has but 9 hectares allowed to be named as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 8 of which consist of Grenache. Many of its vines bear the “wrong” classification because in the 1930’s, the owner stood at his gate, literally with rifle in hand, refusing to be surveyed by Appellation-Controlée authorities. As such, the majority of the vines (44 hectares in total) are classified below their weight as either Côtes-du-Rhône or Côte-du-Rhône-Villages. This is good news for wine drinkers, who can pick up a “pretend Châteauneuf-du-Pape” wine for near the price of a Côtes-du-Rhône.
The estate was bought by the Pouizin family in 1956, who mainly focussed on selling bulk wine to local traders. Still somewhat of a black sheep in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, classification of the Côte-du-Rhône and the Côte-du-Rhône-Villages has not been changed since the 1930’s stand-off. Claude Pouizin ran the property from 1956 until 1996, before handing the management over to his daughter Sylvie and her husband Jean-Denis Vacherons.
Today Sylvie works on her own, after the sudden passing of Jean-Denis in 2002 in a car accident. She has sought help from much respected winemaker Bruno Gaspard and oenologist Phillipe Cambie. The vineyards were recently certified as biodynamic, in 2010. The style of their wines, along with value for money, meant that it wasn’t long before markets such as the US caught on.
Their wines are characterised by their pure fruit and a smooth, velvety texture. It’s rare that a wine of this quality comes along at such a price.
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