Welcome to where the smart money plays. After a dispute with the AOC authorities in 1936 (in which old man Pouizin allegedly greeted them at the door with a shotgun) many of Caillou’s greatest terroirs were forever classified Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages, even though they looked exactly like neighboring Châteauneuf parcels. Dunnuck flipped for this 2016: “A total “Wow!” wine, [it] boasts knockout notes of blackcurrants, black raspberries, smoked herbs, licorice and crushed rock-like minerality. Big, rich, unctuous and layered, yet still fine and finesse-driven.” A case buy is a great play here too!
We came, we saw, we tasted. After an exhaustive week spent traversing the cellars of France, we thought that the tank was empty. So much glorious wine… we couldn’t possibly be impressed yet again, right? Then we fell silent during the tasting at Clos du Caillou and later agreed that, overall, it was probably the most impressive lineup in a trip full of impressive lineups. Caillou sits in a legendary neighborhood in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, their ancient vineyards (many are 70-100 years old) struggling through sand and rock alongside neighbors like Rayas and Beaucastel. Their winemaking philosophy is to meld the natural advantage of old-vine plant material with clean, modern winemaking. When every single offering they presented left us grasping for superlatives, it’s clear they took every bit of the lauded 2010 vintage and focused it into liquid treasures.
A total “Wow!" wine, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Reserve (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) boast knockout notes of blackcurrants, black raspberries, smoked herbs, licorice and crushed rock-like minerality. Big, rich, unctuous and layered, yet still fine and finesse-driven, drink this full-bodied powerhouse anytime over the coming decade or more.