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Le Clos du Caillou Bouquet des Garriques Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc 2016
- Great Domaines
all ratings out of 100 points.
"This wine presents an attractive yellow gold brilliant dress on chrome reflections. The nose is lightly spicy on curry notes, accompanied with aromas of peel Cedrat and on liqueur of mandarin. The mouth is smooth, fat, where we found aromas of fruits compote of white flesh associated with citrus peel. This wine presents a beautiful aromatic length." - Winemaker Notes
40% Grenache blanc 35% Clairette rose 30% Viognier
Now - 2022
Vineyards & vinification:
A blended wine from the Cotes-du-Rhone, made from a single vineyard with vines that are minimum 50 years old. Farming is done through the use of biodynamic principles. Fermented using indigenous yeasts.
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.