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Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP91
  • ST91
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Winemaker Notes

The wine has a beautiful deep-red dress with bright reflections. The nose has aromas of cherries wild myrtle, red berries of the woods, with mild spices, wild licorice, and fennel. On the mouth, the wine is full and silky, with aromas of figs, plums, caramel, and roasted cocoa beans, combined with a beautiful freshness. A great wine for aging.

Critical Acclaim

RP 91
The Wine Advocate

The dark plum/ruby/purple-tinged 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres is showing better from bottle than it did last year from barrel. A blend of 95% Grenache and the rest Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault aged in old foudres, reveals classic notes of herbes de Provence, cherry jam and lavender in a full-bodied, opulent, sexy, open-knit style typical of many 2009s. This broad, rich Chateauneuf is ideal for drinking over the next 10-12 years.

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Bright red. Very fresh and intensely aromatic, projecting scents of red berries, lavender and spices, along with a hint of white pepper. Juicy and incisive, offering nervy strawberry and raspberry flavors lifted by a zesty spice nuance. This silky, seamless, lithe Chateauneuf finishes with impressive clarity and snap and might well pass for a ripe New World pinot noir.

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Clos du Caillou

Clos Du Caillou

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Clos Du Caillou, , France - Rhone
Clos du Caillou
"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.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production...

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Singularly aromatic, often sweet, and always enjoyable...

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Singularly aromatic, often sweet, and always enjoyable, Muscat never takes itself too seriously. Muscat is actually an umbrella name for a diverse set of grapes, some of which are genetically related while others are not. The two most important versions are Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria, the former being of considerably higher quality. Both are grown throughout the world and can be made in a wide range of styles, from dry and aromatic wines to sweet and richly perfumed dessert wines. It is well known in Italy's Piedmont region for Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sparkling semi-sweet wine that is refreshing and low in alcohol.

In the Glass

Muscat wines possess intense aromatics of peaches, rose petals, geranium, orange blossom, and lychee, often with a hint of sweet spice, and always with a uniquely grapey character that is uncommon in other wines.

Perfect Pairings

Thanks to its naturally low alcohol levels, Muscat is a perfect match for spicy Asian cuisine, especially when the wine has a little bit of residual sugar. Off-dry Muscat can work well with lighter desserts like key lime pie and lemon meringue, while fully sweet Muscat-based dessert wines are enjoyable after dinner with an assortment of cheeses.

Sommelier Secret

Muscat is one of the oldest known grape varieties, dating as far back as the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing one of the Muscat varieties.

NBI157037_2009 Item# 115463

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