Clos de Caillou Côtes de Rhône VIEILLES VIGNES – Organic and biodynamic
Wines from Le Clos du Caillou are Rhône blends at their most intense. Concentrated and richly textured, these organically raised, older-vine wines capture the spice and silk of old-vine Grenache grown on the region’s finest terroirs.
Each wine reflects the native perfumes of the south, the “garrigue” blend of thyme, rosemary and lavender that grows wild among the estate’s vines. Of all the terroir in the Côtes du Rhône appellation, the “clos” of Caillou has to be one of the most exceptional.
Completely surrounded by Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, this walled parcel of land was intentionally left out of the appellation by the owner, following a bureaucratic spat back in 1936. What this means today is that Caillou’s Côtes du Rhône wines are qualitatively the same, with regard to terroir and exposition, as top Châteauneuf wines.
Caillou’s devotion to the character of the land (through bottling wines according to terroir) and its dedication to organic and biodynamic viticulture are what captivated us so many years ago when we first encountered these wines; and over the years, this fidelity to soil and soul has only intensified.
The estate in Courthézon, in the northeastern part of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, boasts a mix of terroirs with a predominance of sand, which gives Caillou wines their silky elegance and a fine-grained texture. Importantly, the “clos,” or walled portion of the estate where vines for Côtes du Rhône wines are grown, shares the same terroir with Caillou’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards.
The estate has been practicing biodynamic viticulture since 2003, and was certified organic as of 2010. Grapes are harvested by hand and manually sorted in both the fields and at the cellar, then partially destemmed and fermented on indigenous yeasts in cement tanks. Wines are aged in a combination of large foudre, demi-muid and barrel, depending on the wine and the vintage, for approximately 15 to 18 months in the estate’s cool underground cellars, and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
82% Grenache and 18% Syrah from a mix of vineyards that share similar terroir to classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards: large, round quartz river stones (galets roulés), clay and sand. Vine age is 45 years, on average. The grapes are hand-harvested, and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Aged for 16 months in 50% upright wooden tanks and 50% older large foudre . Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Aromas of garrigue (wild thyme, lavender and rosemary). Flavors of raspberry and black cherry.