March 8, 2006 - Jack

Wine Blogging
Wednesday #19

This month's theme is "When in Rhône" blends and is hosted by Jathan of Wine Expression. Click here for the round-up.

2000 Le Clos du Caillou
Très Vieilles Vignes Reserve
Côtes du Rhône Villages

About the Winery & The Wine:

Domaine Le Clos du Caillou lies in the Northeastern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The estates are right next door to Château Rayas and Château Beaucastel. Technically a Côtes du Rhône Villages wine, the vineyard is really across the street from Châteaneuf-du-Pape vineyards.

The wine is composed of mostly old vine Grenache (très vieilles vignes – 70-100 years old) with a bit of Syrah and Mourvedre (probably old vines as well). Jean-Denis Vacheron was the winemaker for this wine – he sadly died in 2002 and now his wife Sylvie Vacheron-Pouizin runs the estate with Bruno Gaspard as winemaker. This particular wine was barrel selected for North Berkeley Imports and was bottled unfiltered.

Joanne’s Tasting Notes
Intense nose of grilled and smoked meats with an undercurrent of berries. Really delicious nose.

The center is bright cherries and plums with tannins playing on the finish – making for a very dry finish. This wine screams for a rustic country dinner...perhaps grilled meats and vegetables.

2000 Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhones Villages Tres Vieilles Vignes

Needless-to-say, this is not Le Clos du Caillou's top wine, or even second wine. It is their top non-Chateauneuf-du-Pape-labeled wine. I find myself drinking more of their wines than any other Rhone producer in the last few years. The most memorable wine I've had is their 2001 CdP Les Quartz – one of the best Rhône red's I've ever tasted.

Le Clos du Caillou are imported into the US by North Berkeley Imports. Their wines are fairly easy to find in Northern California, and have good availability in New York, Illinois and Florida. NBI imported the 1999, 2000, and 2001 vintages of this wine. All of Caillou's CdRs are quite good (I haven't had a disappointing one yet), and I will be purchasing the Le Clos du Caillou Bouquet des Garrigues Côtes du Rhône from the 2004 vintage very soon.

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