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Le Clos du Caillou Bouquet des Garriques Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc 2017
- Great Domaines
- The Wine Advocate
- Vinous Media
all ratings out of 100 points.
"The 2017 Cotes du Rhone Le Bouquet des Garrigues Blanc is crisper and more focused than the basic Le Caillou bottling. Boasting racy lime aromas and flavors, it's tonic and zesty on the long finish. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Viognier, it should drink well for a couple of years." - Josh Raynolds, Vinous.com
40% Clairette, 30% Grenache blanc, 20% Viognie, 10% Bourboulenc
2018 - 2020
Vinification in stainless steel tank.
Vineyards & vinification:
Hand-picking with sorting in the vineyard and then in cellar. Pneumatic pressing in whole bunches. Cold settling during one night at 10°C.
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.