If you don’t have a case of Clos du Caillou in your cellar, you are seriously missing out on the best values in Chateauneuf and Cotes du Rhone in the shop. Sure, there’s plenty of highly lauded 2016 CDPs in the $100+++ range. But isn’t it more fun to find an epic estate that doesn’t command those prices?
Enter Clos du Caillou.
They’ve flown unnoticed by buyers (though certainly not by the reviewers!) while the big names just got pricier. Perhaps because the terroir-driven estate is so hard to find in the national market. The estate is one of the favorites of reviewers for the region, yet can be had for under $50 a bottle. What’s not to love?
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“Longtime winemaker Bruno Gaspard hit a home run with his 2016s, which show more depth and flesh than the outstanding 2015s that were made here… This estate is squarely in my top tier of the region’s producers and, relatively speaking, pricing is extremely, even ridiculously fair” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous
“The Southern Rhône has been blessed with great wines in several recent vintages. Certainly, 2016 is among the best ever, drawing comparisons to 1990 and 1978, but 2015 and 2017 aren’t far behind… The consistent high quality of this estate’s wines makes it a perennial favorite of mine… Winemaker Bruno Gaspard admits 2016 is a good vintage, grinning when asked about it. ‘It’s not too solar, not heavy,’ he said.… Although two potentially perfect red Châteauneuf-du-Papes lead the list, don’t overlook the various Côtes du Rhône bottlings, which often represent great value” – Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
“Under the helm of Bruno Gaspard (with help from Philippe Cambie), Domaine du Clos du Caillou continues to make some of the most profound, layered and sexy wines of this sun-drenched appellation.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Clos du Caillou Wines In Stock Now:
Le Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres, Rhone 2016 750ML Buy Now: $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points “Sourced from the lieu-dit of Les Bédines, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres is 95% Grenache, with the remainder being a mix of other permitted varieties. Like the other wines from Le Clos du Caillou, it shows great intensity and purity. Flowering garrigue accents black cherry fruit in this full-bodied, fresh, vibrant and intense wine, which ends with a burst of bright orange zest and waves of silky tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres comes from more sandstone soils and is mostly Grenache. Spice strawberries, kirsch, dried herbs, flowers, and ample sandy, stony notes all emerge from this fleshy, medium to full-bodied, structured wine that has the classic weightless texture of the estate. This beauty has an exotic edge as well as a distinct salinity and is the finest version of this cuvée to date.”
James Suckling 94 points “Immense, seamless depth. Alluring, fresh, dark-plum, spice and chocolate aromas and flavors. The tannins are immaculately plush, long and even. Superb. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2020.”
Le Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz, Rhone 2016 750ML Buy Now: $26 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points “Exceeding my prebottling expectations, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz is a terrific effort that puts many Châteauneufs to shame. Aromas of crushed stone and raspberries mark the nose of this 85-15 Grenache-Syrah blend. It’s full-bodied and rich, with hints of chocolaty ripeness balanced by citrus zest on the lengthy finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Spice, loamy soil, dried red fruits, and plenty of dried floral notes all emerge from the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Les Quartz, which shows more and more minerality with time in the glass. It’s elegant and seamless on the palate, with building tannin, and is a terrific introduction into the wines of this estate.”