The 2019 Les Quartz from Le Clos de Caillou is outstanding and the best buy from Chateauneuf du Pape this vintage. This small standout address has continued to make incredibly impressive wines as one of the region's landmarks. In 1996 the domaine was taken over by Sylvie Pouizin, daughter of owner Calude Pouizin. Sylvie was living in Sancerre with her Husband Jean-Denis Vacheron of the famed Domaine Vacheron, shortly before a big decision was made to move to Chateauneuf du Pape to take over the Domaine when Sylvie's father retired. Jean-Louis tragically passed in 2002, and shortly after, Bruno Gaspard would become the winemaker.
Caillou is one of our favorite addresses in Chateauneuf du Pape, and while the domaine is now on the 2021 vintage, we got a few cases of 2019, which is a smaller vintage yet one of the best of all time for this wine.
Les Quarts is a blend of 85% Grenache from Les Cassanets, planted in 1956, and 15% Syrah from Les Bédines, planted in 1958. After partial destemming, grapes are fermented in concrete vats with natural yeasts before the Grenache ages in 7 to 11-year-old casks and the Syrah ages in Burgundy barrels that have seen 2 or 3 wines for 17 months. The quartz is a wine of very deep color showing wild red fruits, exotic spices, tobacco, and stony minerality. While this is certainly a powerful wine, it is innately elegant, and all of the Caillou wines tend to have a higher level of finesse due to the owner's love of red Burgundy (mainly the late Jean-Denis). We have a limited amount at this very low pricing, and it is right on the cusp of entering a prime spot for drinking, but with sufficient time to decant, this could be enjoyed now. Not one to miss this vintage and on par with some of the best bottles of the vintage.
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points! "Moving to the tiny production 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Quartz, which is mostly Grenache with around 25% or so of Syrah, it has a rich, full-bodied, dense, and almost backward style to go with powerful black fruits, ground pepper, and violet aromas and flavors. I love its purity of fruit, and it builds nicely with time in the glass, showing more mid-palate depth as well as ripe tannins. It’s a stunning bottle of wine, but patience will be required. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.<!--more-->The 2019s from Le Clos du Caillou showed brilliantly, and this is clearly a great vintage for estate, with the wines equaling what was produced in 2016, 2010, 2007, 2005, and 2001. These are silky, elegant, yet also concentrated wines across the board, and despite the multitude of cuvées, they all have singular, distinct personalities. These are brilliant wines readers will love to have in their cellars. (Drink between 2025-2046)"
Vinous (Josh Raynolds) 95 points! "Deep magenta. Heady, finely detailed aromas of mineral-tinged red/blue fruit preserves, incense and garrigue are complemented by a suave floral topnote. Alluringly sweet and seamless on the palate, offering impressively concentrated raspberry, boysenberry, spicecake and candied licorice flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. Finishes with outstanding clarity, polished tannins and floral-driven persistence, leaving an exotic hint of five-spice powder behind. (Drink between 2026 - 2036)"