I really enjoyed these two brilliant examples of Chateaneuf du Pape from Le Clos du Caillou, a domaine with just 9 hectares in the appellation, as well as 44 hectares in Cotes du Rhone. They’re from the 2010 vintage, so I am assuming they are cask samples, although the bottles I received seemed to be in pretty good nick.
Les Quartz is 85% Grenache from galets over sandy soils, with 15% Syrah from sandy soils. The Reserve is unusual in that it is normally 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvedre – a remarkably high proportion for the appellation. In 2010 the Mourvedre was so good that it is half the blend. Again, the soils are sandy.
The 2010 vintage is the first time these wines have been made from certified organic vineyards.
Both wines are available en primeur from Bancroft Wines here.
Le Clos du Caillou Reserve 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape, France
14.5% alcohol. Initially, there’s a slightly roasted edge to the lovely fresh raspberry and black cherry fruit on the nose. The palate is fresh, vivid and direct with lovely grippy structure and some meaty savouriness. It’s youthful, intense, peppery and pure. Drinking well over three days, this is a lovely, intense, structured with with floral overtones emerging on the nose, and some savoury olive, spice and clove notes complementing the intense fruit. 93-96/100
Domaine du Caillou ‘Les Quartz’ 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape, France
14.5% alcohol. Ripe, rich and vibrant with vivid blackberry, blueberry and plum fruit. Concentrated, showing minerally, gravelly, grippy notes. Real tannic structure here. This is rich but not overblown with a concentrated core of fruit and firm structure. 92-94/100