Le Clos Du Caillou
- France Rhône
The much-lauded Le Clos du Caillou produces classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that just keep getting better, year-on-year. The domaine is situated on the edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is unique in that, in 1936, the owner (who was then away at a hunting retreat) refused to allow the experts who were drawing up the boundaries of the appellation to visit his domaine. Thus, it was not included in the delimited area and remains to this day an enclave within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. The domaine practices biodynamic farming techniques and was certified "Agriculture Biologique" in 2010 and "Vin Biologique" in 2012. Their trademark style lies in full-bodied wines with rich red fruit flavours, velvety texture and fine tannins. The energetic winemaker Bruno Gaspard is a man who takes a seriously hands-on approach. Come the harvest, he prefers to choose when to pick based purely on tasting the grapes himself. This emphasis on flavour leads to wines of great concentration, lifted by the trademark elegance of this great domaine. The Côtes du-Rhône 'Bouquet des Garrigues' a Bancroft favourite comes from vines grown on 30 hectares of pebbly soil (the Garrigues) within the Clos. This is a fantastic, rich wine, with sweet red fruit, liquorice and a silky texture, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape in all but name.