2018 Clos du Caillou 'Les Quartz' Chateauneuf du Pape

$89.95
DC96WA94-96JD94WS93VN93-95

Once considered rogue to the rest of the region, the Johnny Cash of Chateauneuf, this old hunting site turned world-class vineyard is on the scene. Now with over 30-year-old vineyards, this is a true player, with concentrated fruit, understated spice and just a little bit of country charm.

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.

Varietal:
Red Blend
Winemaker:
Bruno Gaspard
Vintage:
2018
Aging:
14 Months
Oak Treatment:
90% demi-muids (600L), 10% terracotta amphora (500L)
Appellation:
Rhone Valley
Sub-Appellation:
Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Total Varietal Composition %:
70% Grenache, 30% Syrah
Alcohol %:
14.0%
SKU #:
1043185
Size:
750 ml Bottle
DC96

Decanter

This is dark, savoury, potent and concentrated. It has great vibrancy of fruit coupled with real depth of integrated structural tannins and all matched with a gently throbbing acidity. It’s very ripe but not oversweet, and the finish is very long indeed. It's very well-tailored, and expertly fashioned, a real essence of Châteauneuf - very silky in style, and clearly a very crafted expression rather than a 'natural' one - but crafted with consummate skill. Grown half on large pebbles, half on sand in lieu-dit Les Cassanets, destemmed, then fermented mostly in concrete, then matured mostly in demi-muid except for 10% in amphora. (MW)

WA94-96

Wine Advocate

The 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz demonstrates its characteristic purity of fruit. A blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah from a single lieu-dit, it offers up gorgeous aromas of cherries and raspberries. Full-bodied, concentrated yet silky and refined, it finishes with a remarkable degree of elegance and length.

VN93-95

Vinous

Deep brilliant ruby. Powerful red and dark berry aromas are complemented by building spice, incense and lavender notes. Sappy and densely packed, offering vivacious black raspberry, cherry pie and spicecake flavors energized by a core of juicy acidity. Supple, harmonious tannins build steadily on the impressively long, seamless finish, which leaves behind floral pastille and juicy red berry preserve notes.

JD94

Jeb Dunnuck

Coming from more pebbly soils and 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Quartz is more exuberant and Provençal, with a monster nose of red and blackberry fruits, peppery garrigue, game, candied orange, and loads of spring flower-like nuances. Slightly closed on the palate, it’s still medium to full-bodied, has solid spine of acidity, ripe tannins, and a great finish.

WS93

Wine Spectator

Alluring, with tea, singed sandalwood and woodspice accents leading the way for a graceful mix of dried cherry, raspberry coulis and damson plum flavors. There's a subtle mineral edge through the finish, while the fruit keeps pace. Approachable, but there's plenty for the cellar too. (JM)