Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres Blanc 2009
Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The wine has a pretty yellow gold color. The nose is displays complex aromas of apples, peaches, combined with notes of vanilla and buttered toast. The palate is dense and creamy, with nice power, mingling aromas of oranges, candied pineapple, licorice and vanilla.
Pairs well with sweetbreads, bass fillet, and fresh salmon carpaccio.
International Wine Cellar - "(70% roussanne, with clairette and grenache blanc, raised in four- and five-year-old barriques): Bright yellow-gold. Ripe yellow plum and dried pear on the intensely perfumed nose, with complicating notes of flowers and herbs. Smooth and concentrated, offering sappy citrus and orchard fruit flavors and notes of chalk, anise and honey. The finish shows a refreshingly bitter note and lingers with impressive spiciness and tenacity."
The Wine Advocate - "Le Clos du Caillou's 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape blanc, also called Les Safres, is an intriguing blend of 70% Roussanne and the rest equal parts Clairette and Grenache Blanc. This 200-case blend is aged 70% in small barrels. An outstanding, powerful white (which does not reveal a lot of oak despite its barrel aging), it offers up honeyed pineapple, pear and waxy notes intermixed with hints of marmalade, apricots and nectarines. An impressive, full-throttle white Chateauneuf du Pape with minerality as well as good acidity, it can be enjoyed over the next several years."
Clos Du Caillou Winery
"I recognize that I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have this job, and the privilege of tasting so many incredible wines, but certainly the efforts produced by Domaine du Caillou since 1998 rank among the most exciting I have ever tasted."
—Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
From robust Côtes-du-Rhône to memorable Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Clos du Caillou wines arguably represent some of the finest values in all of France. Proprietor Sylvie Vacheron and winemaker Bruno Gaspard are keeping the great work of the late Jean-Denis Vacheron alive with wines that are heady, robust and mouth-wateringly lush.
Caillou tends wonderfully old Grenache vines, some of which are 70 to 100 years old. With older Syrah and Mourvèdre added to the mix, it’s no wonder that Caillou wines are across the board impressive for their power, extract and deep minerality. The estate’s Châteauneuf terroir borders the impressive domaines of Chateau Rayas and Beaucastel.
Yet many of the Vacheron-Pouizin family's old vines are classified, by a quirk of 1923 politics, Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages. It’s why our Côtes-du-Rhône barrel selections show surprisingly like its kin in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
In 1996 Jean-Denis Vacheron took full control of the viticulture and élévage at this estate. Under his stewardship, the wines of Caillou steadily gained stature, and today are benchmarks for the appellation. He understood that temperature-controlled fermentation and a cool, clean cellar are necessary to craft wines with refinement and true complexity. View all Clos Du Caillou Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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