Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape Rhone Wine, Complete Guide

caillou1 Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape Rhone Wine, Complete Guide

Everything about Le Clos du Caillou, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone wine producer profile with wine tasting notes, wine and food pairings, best vintages, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews and images. If you want to read about other important wineries and wine makers from the Rhone valley: Links to all Rhone Valley Wine Producer Profiles

Le Clos du Caillou History, Overview

Le Clos du Caillou dates back to at least the first part of the 20th century in the Southern Rhone Valley. However, the modern era for Clos du Caillou began when it was purchased in 1956 by the Pouzin family. The domaine was managed by Claude Pouzin until 1995. At that point in time, the Sylvie, the daughter of Claude Pouzin and her husband, Jean-Denis Vacheron began to run the estate, taking Clos du Caillou in a new direction.

Tragically, Jean-Denis Vacheron died in an accident in 2002. Sylvie took over managing the estate from that point forward. While the property has a history in Chateauneuf du Pape, the reason there are no great older vintages, or any older vintages for that matter is simple, Until 1993, they sold the majority of their harvest to negociants.

Clos du Caillou, with the assistance of their consultant, Philippe Cambie practices biodynamic farming techniques. In fact, Clos du Caillou earned their certification as agriculture biologique in 2010.

Clos du Caillou Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking

The 9 hectare Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards of Clos du Caillou are planted to red and white grapes. They also produce a Cotes du Rhone Bouquet des Garrigues and Cotes du Rhone villages from parcels that are located ever so slightly outside the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation. Their terroir varies from sand to limestone and rocky soils. While the average age of their vines is over 40 years, some of their vines date to over one hundred years old. The fruit from those vines goes into the Clos du Caillou Reserve. While most of their vineyards are used for making red wine, .57 hectares are used for producing white Chateauneuf du Pape wines. Clos du Caillou owns another 44 hectares of vines in the Cotes du Rhone appellation.

The best vintages for Clos du Caillou are: 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2001, 2000 and 1998.

Clos du Caillou produces 4 red wines: Chateauneuf du Pape, Les Safres, Les Quartz and their top of the line wine is a Reserve, produced from a blend that is often 60% old vine Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and other varietals.

Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape – Produced from a blend that is often close to 95% Grenache, 2% Mourvedre,2% Syrah and 1% Cinsault, the vines are all placed in the sandy terroir found in the soils of the les Bedines and les Cassanets lieux-dits. The wine is aged in foudres for 14 months before bottling.

Clos du Caillou Les Safres, which takes its name from the sandstone terroir, “Safres” is produced from 95% Grenache with some Syrah, Mourvedre and other grape varieties. Although some vintages are produced from 100% Grenache. On average, the vines are usually 50 years of age or older. The vines are planted in the les Bedines vineyard. 900 cases are produced on average of this wine, each year. Prior to 1995, the wine was sold as Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape.

Clos du Caillou Les Quartz, which made its debut in 1999 comes from vines planted in the les Cassanets vineyard. The terroir is rocks and sandy soil. Caillou Les Quartz comes from a blend that is usually 85% Grenache with 15% Syrah. The Grenache is aged in foudres and oak vats and the Syrah is aged in New, French oak barrels for 18 months. The production is close to 900 cases per year.

Clos du Caillou Reserve made its debut in 1998. Produced from a blend of 60% old vine Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre, that blend can of course vary, depending on the vintage. In some years, the can be produced from just Grenache and Mourvedre. The vines are for the most part, planted in a sandy terroir found in the la Guigasse and Pignan lieux-dits. Clos du Caillou Reserve is aged in demi-muids for about 14 months. On average, only 500 cases of this wine are produced each year.

Clos du Caillou also produces a Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, Les Safres Blanc and seven different wines produced from vines planted in the Cotes du Rhone appellation.

Le Clos du Caillou recently freshened up their image. In 2010, the domaine modernized their label for the Clos du Caillou Reserve and they followed this up in the 2011 vintage when they repeated the new script and changed the design of the label for their La Clos du Caillou Les Quartz.

Serving and Decanting Clos du Caillou with Wine, Food Pairing Tips

Clos du Caillou is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be popped and poured, or decanted for an hour so. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Clos du Caillou is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, stewed dishes, sausage and cassoulet. Clos du Caillou is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms pasta, eggplant and tomatoes.

The white wine of Clos du Caillou is best served with a myriad of different seafood dishes, shellfish, crab, lobster, sushi, sashimi, chicken, pork and veal, as well as Asian cuisine.

Le Clos du Caillou Wine Tasting Notes

25 Vintages 81330 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2015Le Clos du Caillou La Réserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)97 pts

The purity of fruit here is impossible to ignore. Dark in color, balanced, fresh and lively, the wine has concentration of flavor, elegance and freshness, with a luscious, sensuous texture and a spicy, mineral character. This is quite a strong result here. The wine is produced from a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Mourvedre.

97 points - Tasted
2015Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)92 pts

Silky, soft polished fruits with sweetness and freshness here. The wine has a beautiful polished exterior and loads of kirsch and sweet plums in the finish. This is perfect for drinking young while waiting for its bigger brothers and sisters to develop more complexities. The wine was made using a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah.

92 points - Tasted
2015Le Clos du Caillou Les Safres  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)93 pts

Wet earth, garrigue and cherries might be what you find first. But the center of polished, rich, intense, silky red fruits is what rivets your attention. Sweet, spicy fruits, freshness and silky tannins complete the wine. The wine is made using 95% Grenache, 2% Mourvedre, 2% Cinsault and 1% Vaccarese.

93 points - Tasted
2014Le Clos du Caillou La Réserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

The 2014 is all about the finesse and elegance in the wine. The fruit has a beautiful sense of purity and the acidity keeps it fresh. Made from a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvedre, the wine is lusty, luscious and sensuous. Clearly, this is a contender for the wine of the vintage.

94 points - Tasted
2014Le Clos du Caillou Les Safres  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)92 pts

Spicy, fresh, polished, sweet, peppery black raspberries, kirsch, cherries and herbs are in your face. Sweet, fresh, forward and already delicious.

92 points - Tasted
2014Le Clos du Caillou Tradition  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)91 pts

Medium/full bodied with a blast of sweet, kirsch liqueur, wild strawberry, cracked pepper and fresh herbs. Silky, elegant and forward, this lusty wine will be delicious on release.

91 points - Tasted

Earthy, fresh and sweet, with a silky, soft textured palate presence, finishing with ripe, plums, thyme, earth and juicy kirsch.

90 points - Tasted
2013Le Clos du Caillou La Réserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

This is fabulous for any vintage, but it's quite an accomplishment in 2013. The wine has depth of flavor, softness of texture and a beautiful, polished, sweet, red and dark red, fresh fruit character. The wine was made from a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvedre.

94 points - Tasted
2013Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)91 pts

Blending 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah produced a wine with supple tannins and ripe, sweet, black raspberries that display a nice peppery, fresh quality.

91 points - Tasted
2013Le Clos du Caillou Tradition  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)90 pts

Medium bodied, with a refined, elegant charm to the fruit and texture, the wine is all about the sweet, ripe, kirsch core of fruit.

90 points - Tasted
2012Le Clos du Caillou La Réserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)95 pts

There is a purity of fruit that leaves a long impression here. This is made even better with the freshness, length and silky tannins that push along the spice and ripe berry driven finish. This will be fun to age. The blend of 60% old vine Grenache and 40% Mourvedre reached 16% alcohol with no sensation of heat.

95 points - Tasted
2012Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)93 pts

With freshness in its character, the ripe, red and juicy black fruits stand out with their spicy qualities and polished textures. There is no sensation of heat in the 15.5% alcohol finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah.

93 points - Tasted
2012Le Clos du Caillou Les Safres  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)91 pts

Lots of ripe, round textured, peppery, black raspberries, kirsch and spice are found from start to finish in this rich wine. With Grenache making up most of the blend, 2% Cinsault, 2% Syrah and 1% Mourvedre were added for good measure.

91 points - Tasted
2012Le Clos du Caillou Tradition  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)91 pts

Soft, ripe, sweet, spicy fruits taste good and feel even better on your palate from his Grenache dominated wine that was blended with 2% Mourvedre and reached 15% alcohol.

91 points - Tasted
2011Le Clos du Caillou La Réserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)95 pts

Charcoal, barbecue, herbs and ripe, red berry notes create the inviting fragrance. In the mouth, the wine is lush and polished, making the intense fresh, spicy fruits come alive. Clearly, this is one of the top wines of the vintage. Produced from 60% old vine Grenache and 40% Mourvedre, the wine reached 16% alcohol without any sensation of heat.

95 points - Tasted
2011Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)92 pts

With 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah in the blend, the wine is mineral driven, with dark, peppery, red fruits and herbs in the nose, finishing with silky, fresh, sweet kirsch and spice.

92 points - Tasted
2010Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

Dark in color, with a good depth of flavor and the structure to age, the wine is packed with ripe black raspberries, pepper, earth, opulent textures and a fresh, dark cherry profile.

94 points - Tasted
2009Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

From a blend of 85% old vine Grenache and 15% Syrah, this concentrated, ripe, rich wine serves up a delicious mouthful of sweet, ripe and overripe cherries, fresh jammy strawberries, spice and herbs. As good as this is now, it should get even better with a few more years of age.

94 points - Tasted
2007Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

This blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah produces such a great style of Chateauneuf du Pape. Buckets of fresh, cherry liqueur, pepper, black raspberry jam, spice, earth and herbs pour of the glass. Thick, rich and full bodied, this generous, round, intense wine leaves a lasting impression of spicy dark cherries and plums on your palate.

94 points - Tasted
2001Le Clos du Caillou Reserve le Clos du Caillou  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)100pts

Massive, yet, refined. Intense, and balanced, with freshness, ripe, energetic, red fruits and complexity, this is a beauty that is drinking in its sweet spot.

97 points - Tasted

Most Chateauneuf du Pape drink well young, while some pay huge dividends for waiting. Clos du Caillou Reserve is one of the best Southern Rhones for cellaring. With time, an intoxicating perfume of black raspberry, black cherry liqueur, kirsch, fennel, spice, pepper, wet earth and garrigue emerges. This powerful, concentrated wine has depth, balance and complexity. The texture shows richness and soft tannins, ending in a bath of perfectly ripe, spice filled, dark red fruits that must have lasted over 60 seconds! This was popped and poured and continued getting better and better in the glass.

100 points - Tasted
2001Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

Still young, pepper, black raspberry, licorice, spice, garrigue and kirsch aromas paired perfectly with layers of concentrated, ripe, lush, wild, red and black fruits with a complicated, spicy quality. The wine has great mouth filling volume. This is probably drinking at close to its peak, but there is no real hurry to pop your last remaining bottles.

94 points - Tasted

With its licorice, stone and smoky cherry personality, it reminded of tasting ripe cherries poured over crushed rocks. Good texture and concentration with a sweet, peppery, black and red cherry filled finish ended the wine. This is mature. There is no reason to wait before opening your bottles.

94 points - Tasted

Jammy black fruit, kirsch, pepper and herbs. Full bodied and concentrated with a melange of black and red fruits, the wine ends with a rich, dark, black cherry note. This Chateauneuf du Pape is ready to drink.

93 points - Tasted
2000Le Clos du Caillou Reserve le Clos du Caillou  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)97 pts

Loving how this is showing, it is rich, deep and long. Full bodied and concentrated, the fruit is on the dark, red, side of the style range. Spicy, meaty and lusciously textured, splash decanted for 20 minutes, that was all the time needed to make let this unfurl.

97 points - Tasted

Lots of deep, rich fruits, fat texture, pepper, spice and kirsch. The wine is full bodied, concentrated and mouth filling, with round, lush textures. This is close to the optimum drinking window, but there is hurry to drink it.

97 points - Tasted

There are wines that take a while to open before they deliver. Others just pop wide open. 2000 Caillou Reserve explodes the moment you pull the cork. Filled with kinky black raspberry, kirsch, pepper, licorice and earth, the wine is incredibly rich, plush, juicy and mouth filling. The finish is long, fresh, clean and packed with layers of perfectly ripe, old vine Grenache.

97 points - Tasted

The nose grabs your focus with its jammy black raspberry, earth, animal, pepper, black cherry, herbs and spicy scents. Big, powerful and packed with layers of sweet, ripe fruits. This can age, but I like the way it's drinking now.

96 points - Tasted
2000Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

Spicy black fruit, pepper and cherry notes dominate the perfume. The palate is completely taken over by waves of black and red berries and cherries. Very rich, pure and concentrated. The finish is clean and lasts well over :30. This is an under appreciated Chateauneuf du Pape.

94 points - Tasted
1999Le Clos du Caillou Reserve le Clos du Caillou  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

Meaty, garrigue, black and red fruits accented by spices are found with minor coaxing. The mouth is treated to a thick flow of rich, sexy, dense, ripe fruit. The finish is complete with good length.

94 points - Tasted

Black cherries, barnyard, earth and herbal aromas. Full bodied. Already open. Will not be long lived.

92 points - Tasted
1998Le Clos du Caillou Reserve le Clos du Caillou  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)96 pts

Midnight black color. Deep dark, ripe fruit and black raspberry along with pepper and spice. Thick, rich and dense. The long, pepper, black and red fruit finish lasts over sixty seconds.

96 points - Tasted
1998Le Clos du Caillou Domaine du Caillou Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Unique  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

This is not the same wine that is found in the Domaine de Caillou Reserve. Filled with black cherry, fresh herbs, pepper, strawberry and soil aromatics, this full bodied wine ends with rich, dark cherries and scorched earth and jammy berries. This is a nice wine. But it cannot be compared with the sublime Domaine du Caillou.

94 points - Tasted