2018 is a monumental vintage in Chateauneuf du pape for Clos de Caillou. It was a bizarre and wet spring that required extensive work in the vineyards, but the arduous effort paid off. This is a fantastic effort by this Domaine from their old vines in Pignin and Guigasse, which are almost 70. An equal blend of Grenache and Mourvedre with 88% aged in 600-liter demi-muids and 12% in clay amphora. The wines from Clos de Caillou have elegance and sophistication to them, much like a fine Burgundy would. The 2018 La Reserve is a gorgeous and deep wine with incredible complexity and is already showy. It is one of the Domaines top efforts, and a must-try for fans of Southern Rhone with top marks across the board, don't miss it!
Wine Advocate (William Kelley) 97 points! "Hints of cedar and vanilla appear on the nose of the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reserve, which is aged in demi-muids (20% new), adding a human-derived aspect to the mouthwatering notes of cherries and raspberries. It's full-bodied, silky and even almost lacy in texture, delivering intense pleasure on the palate without excess weight, then lingering on the finish, where the red-fruit flavors come to the fore, practically vibrating in intensity. Because of the effects of mildew on the Grenache, this vintage is just over 50% Mourvèdre."
Vinous (Josh Raynolds) 96-98 points! "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."
Jeb Dunnuck 95-97 points! "Including more Mourvèdre than normal (it was a good year for Mourvèdre), the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Reserve is nearly equal parts Grenache and Mourvèdre brought up all in demi-muid (there's a tiny amount in amphora). Beautiful notes of black raspberries, kirsch, crushed rocks, garrigue, and cured meat all flow to a full-bodied, powerful 2018 with building tannins, remarkable purity of fruit, and a blockbuster finish. It's going to rank with some of the top wines in the vintage."