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Le Clos du Caillou

We are excited to offer you three new 2018s from the celebrated Clos du Caillou in Chȃteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the region’s most impressive properties and a long-time favourite of Bancroft Wines.

By way of background, remarkably the estate was excluded from the Chȃteauneuf-du-Pape appellation when it was created in the 1930s as the owners refused to allow their land to be surveyed leaving a blank spot right in the middle of the map. As a result, Clos du Caillou is home to some of the most spectacular wines classified as Côtes-du-Rhône you can find, as well as these outstanding Chȃteauneuf-du-Papes – those vines were purchased in the 1950s.

 Under talented wine maker Bruno Gaspard and the current (arguably more friendly!) owners, the Vacheron family, Clos du Caillou has established itself as one of the best producers in the Rhône producing exceptionally well-balanced wines with their signature, velvety tannins.

Having been lucky enough to taste from barrel at the end of last year, it comes as no surprise that the 2018s have received such impressive scores, with Josh Raynolds asserting that he wouldn’t be surprised if ‘they made the best wine of the 2018 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape’.

La Réserve is singled out for particular praise as ‘one of the most stunning wines that I have ever tasted from barrel in this region.’ The powerful Les Quartz is ‘vivacious’ and ‘impressively long’, and the alluring Les Safres shows ‘a suave blend of depth and energy’ finishing ‘with superb clarity’.

Clos du Caillou made especially stunning wines in 2018, albeit in small quantities, with intense aromas and seductive dark fruit characters. These wines are offered en primeur subject to availability so please contact us quickly to secure a case or two.

2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Safres’ Le Clos du Caillou

£165 per 6 bottle case in bond

The estate’s sexiest Châteauneuf-du-Pape, composed primarily of older-vine Grenache (75%), the rest Mourvèdre. ‘Safres’ refers to the wine’s terroir of compacted sand which gives the wines an inviting bouquet, supple textures and refined tannins. 75% was aged in foudres and 25% in demi-muids.

‘Deep bright-hued red. Sexy, spice-accented aromas of ripe red berries and potpourri are lent vivacity by a smoky mineral element. Sweet, palate-coating raspberry, cherry preserve, spicecake and floral pastille flavors show a suave blend of depth and energy. Displays fine delineation and finishes with superb clarity and emphatic, red-fruit-driven persistence’ 93-95 points, Josh Raynolds, December 2019

2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Quartz’ Le Clos du Caillou
£260 per 6 bottle case in bond
A powerful blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, the name of the wine refers to the round polished stones on the surface of the vineyard. The Grenache is aged in 90% demi-muids and 10% terracotta amphora while the Syrah is matured in barrels. 
‘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’ 93-95 points, Josh Raynolds, December 2019

2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘La Reserve’ Le Clos du Caillou

£495 per 6 bottle case in bond

Intensely perfumed with dark fruit characters, this classy Châteauneuf is 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvèdre. Made from the oldest vines, 88% is aged in demi-muids and 12% in terracotta amphora.

‘Limpid ruby-red. An assertively perfumed, expansive bouquet evokes ripe red berries, cherry preserves, exotic spices and incense, with bright floral and mineral nuances emerging as the wine opens up. Utterly stains the palate with sweet raspberry preserve, cherry pie, allspice, candied licorice and lavender flavors that suavely convey both power and finesse. Smooth, harmonious tannins build very slowly through the floral- and spice-dominated finish which shows absolutely no rough edges. This wine is shaping up to be monumental’ 96-98 points, Josh Raynolds, December 2019