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Clos du Caillou, Côtes du Rhône Blanc ‘Bouquet des Garrigues’ 2018

£15.00 (75cl)

In stock

SKU: RHCA0818C

About the wine

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Description

45-year-old vines. Manual harvest. Whole bunch pressing in pneumatic press. Gentle pressure. Vinified and aged in stainless steel.

Tasting note

This wine has a pretty clear color with blooming mimosa colors and Chartreuse reflections. The nose is complex, elegant and gourmet. We found aromas of fresh citrus zest, cedrat and candied tangerine. The palate is creamy, pleasant on notes of orange bark, passion fruits, associated with apricot sorbet. Very nice freshness and length.

About the producer

Le Clos du Caillou is ideally located in the commune of Courthézon. The entire estate comprises 44 hectares of Côtes du Rhône, and 9 hectares of Châteauneuf du Pape. Le Clos has the distinction of being located within the boundary of the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, yet is classified as Côtes du Rhône. Formerly a hunting reserve, the then owner in 1936 refused to have his estate classified by the official regional governing body. Thus, the Clos was not included in the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation. To this day, the Clos du Caillou remains an enclave within this world-renowned wine zone.

The total vineyard holdings (at an average age of over 50 years) comprise Grenache (80%), Syrah (9%), Mourvèdre (5%), Cinsault (1%), Counoise (1.5%), Carignan (2.5%) and Muscardin (1%), as well as Clairette Rose (32%), Grenache Blanc (27%), Roussanne (24%), Clairette (9%), Viognier (6%) and Bourboulenc (2%).

The soil types include sand on a marl sub soil in ‘Les Cailloux’ and ‘Les Cassanets’, making for one of the most interesting terroirs of the appellation. It has the advantage of excellent drainage, thus allowing the grapes to ripen more quickly than in the stonier, pebbly sites. The wines from these soils are characterized by their finesse, elegance, supple tannins and generally are very Burgundian in style. The other key soil type is the famous ‘galets roulés’, especially on the hillsides. The presence is most obvious in ‘Les Cassanets’ and ‘Les Garrigues’ in the Côtes du Rhône.

This terroir is composed of Miocène marine deposits covered by galets, evidence of the past presence of the river Rhône. The galets have a beneficial effect on the quality of the grapes, as they store heat during the day and release it slowly overnight. All vines are tended with the utmost respect for nature: organic treatments only are used, as well as natural composts. Regular ploughing is carried out without the use of herbicides or phytosanitary treatments. Sulphur and copper usage is kept to a minimum. The grapes are harvested exclusively by hand and are sorted carefully before they arrive at the cellar. Vinifications are often preceded by a cold maceration over several days. The red wines are partially or totally destemmed. Fermentation and maceration undergoes manual punching down and pumping over. The wines are then aged in casks and demi-muids for 15 to 18 months in naturally cool underground cellars (13-15°C).

Sylvie Vacheron currently runs this fine estate, helped by the gifted winemaker Bruno Gaspard, producing rich and very expressive Châteauneuf du Pape cuvées alongside consultant Philippe Cambie. The literally “larger than life” Philippe is considered the best oenologist in the Southern Rhône and with his advice, the quality of the estate’s wines has greatly progressed. The unsung hero in Clos du Caillou’s portfolio is the ‘Bouquet des Garrigues’: with the feel and style of Châteauneuf du Pape, it is clearly not a straightforward Côtes du Rhône by any means



Jeb Dunnuck (jebdunnuck.com):

The 2018 Côtes Du Rhône Le Bouquet Des Garrigues Blanc is made from Grenache, Clairette, Viognier, and Roussanne all from the Garrigue lieu-dit located just outside the northern edge of the Châteauneuf Du Pape appellation. It offers more classic white peach, citrus, and honeysuckle notes, medium body, a rounded, textured, sweetly fruited style, and a clean finish. It's a little gem of a white to enjoy over the coming year or two. (Jeb Dunnuck) Points: 91. Date Tasted: 16/08/2019

Regions Vintage Report:

A year defined by a very wet spring but a warm and dry summer with very different results. The whites have generally less alcohol and are successful across the region while the reds, more affected by the climate, express a multitude of styles. Once again the yields were low and a few producers hardly made any wine! The North The region wasn’t as badly affected by the rain and being located on steep hills many of the best vineyards have great drainage potential. There was a little mildew but quite limited compared to the South and the yields are correct. The whites are fresher than 2017, rich, aromatic but with good tension. The reds are concentrated but balanced with enough structure to guarantee ageing. Their ripeness makes them charming and very appealing already but, thanks to the concentration due to the relatively low yields, they are not light and the best examples will age very well. Overall it’s an extremely good vintage with a few exceptional wines. The South The year was complicated: the rain started late March and didn’t stop until June. Working in the vineyards was very difficult; treating against the diseases like mildew was a real challenge that many organic but also conventional producers lost resulting in very low yields. Some vineyards and appellations were more affected, especially when there is a large clay content in the soil. Fortunately the summer was dry, quite hot, and the healthier vines produced nicely ripened fruit. The wines are generally charming and very appealing now without a huge concentration of tannins but they have good balance and enough structure to age, especially for the better vineyards and the east of the region, less affected by the weather. Knowing about the difficulties encountered by the producers I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the wines, many showing delicate and charming styles with early potential. They are not as rich and powerful as the 2015, 2016 and some of the 2017 vintages but will be more satisfying to many drinkers, especially when consumed young as it so often happens. Christian Honorez, Director February 2020 ©adVINture 2020

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