Côtes du Rhône ‘Les Quartz’, Domaine Clos du Caillou, Rhône, France 2018
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Exceptional Rhône blends – old vines – organic
Le Clos du Caillou
The Clos du Caillou was founded in 1895 when Elie Dussaud settled there and created an old cellar. It started as a hunting retreat and it has a remarkable history which explains its exclusion from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation upon its creation in the 1930’s.
When government experts arrived at the Clos in 1936 to survey the land for its inclusion in the new appellation, they were met with armed resistance to prevent them entering the property as the secretive owners didn’t want their estate to be analysed. This is the reason for the seemingly inexplicable blank spot in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation map. As a result, the Clos du Caillou is home to some of the most spectacular terroir classified as simply Côtes-du-Rhône.
The estate was purchased in the mid-1950s by the Pouzin family who decided to plant vines on the land that had traditionally been designated for hunting. They also acquired a 9 hectare plot within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation itself. In 1995, Sylvie Pouzin took on the estate from her father and began the process of converting the vineyard to biodynamic practices. They gained their official organic certification in 2010 and since then have gone on to grow their reputation for the production of outstandingly well-balanced wines with their signature, soft velvety tannins.
Côtes du Rhône ‘Les Quartz’ 2017
The region’s “galets roulés,” or large quartz river stones, are a common sight in Châteauneuf’s finest vineyards. These stones, a legacy of the former path of the Rhône River, absorb heat during the day and release it slowly overnight. This wine comes from the estate’s “clos” vineyard, which shares similar terroir and exposition as estate Châteauneuf plots. A truly unique site within the Cotes du Rhone appellation.
A blend of 85% Grenache & 15% Syrah, expect a nose full of forest fruits, dominated by wild blackberry and raspberry, all accompanied by spicy notes. The palate is complex with a superb length, dominated by notes of liquorice and violet.