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.
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.
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.