A spotlight on Le Clos du Caillou

In 2014 we began representing different domaines from Chateauneuf du Pape in Thailand. Understanding the sizeable region of over 3,000 hectares and 180 wineries, offers a varied range of styles. Along with Laurent Charvin, we choose the cuvee Quartz from Le Clos du Caillou and later added Jean Royer and also Roche Audran.

The Papal wine claimed the first AOC back in 1932. Since then, throughout the world the crested bottles has been synonymous with French wine history and grandeur. According to The Wine Cellr Insider “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, Sylvie Pouzin, 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 Pouzin 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. From that point forward, they began bottling and selling their own.”

Le Clos du Caillou has plots scattered across the plain, and grows mainly Grenache and Syrah on sandy or limestone as well as rocky soils. The entire range consists of 10 different Cotes du Rhone wines and 5 from Chateauneuf du Pape. In their vinification the team uses stainless steel tanks for the white and rose wines and wooden and cement tank for the reds. Aging takes place in foudres and in oak barrels during one year and more, in the underground cellar, built in the safres, with a natural temperature (13 to 15°C). Foudres and demi-muids composed the maturing cellar. Bruno Gaspard along with the cellar team experiments as well with amphora.

The sole wine, that has a different approach is this Esprit Nature. It does share the same texture and purity, but has been raised solely in tank, and bottled early before the next spring. The grapes come from the same organically farmed vineyards, aged around 30 years. Yields are ridiculously low at 20L/h. Throughout harvest and winemaking and prior to bottling no sulfites added. The resulting wine is smooth, concentrated and fresh.

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