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Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2006

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • WS95
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

The reserve has a beautiful black robe with violet reflections. We discover a licorice nose, blueberry jam and wild myrtle associated with mocha. The mouth is ample, silky on black fruit, tobacco spices and powerful cloves. Final notes of cocoa bean.

Critical Acclaim

WS 95
Wine Spectator

Really packed but supersilky, with a gorgeous beam of raspberry ganache gliding over super fine-grained tannins, while notes of incense, blackberry preserve, bittersweet chocolate truffle and black tea fill in the background. Seamless and very long. Best from 2009 through 2030. 550 cases made.

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

Blueberry, blackberry, charcoal, licorice, and a touch of smoked meats are present in the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Clos du Caillou Reserve. It possesses the densest, most saturated color of the 2006s as well as abundant fruit, a full-bodied, powerful mouthfeel, a concentrated, multilayered texture, and a 40-45-second finish. A top-notch effort for the vintage, this beauty should age easily for 15+ years.

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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.

Beloved for flavorful red wines, Alba is an epicurean’s dream. The historic walled town at its heart is where growers from throughout the Piedmont region would once go to sell their produce to winemakers and négociants following the harvest, but today it is better recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations. Sandwiched between Barolo and Barbaresco, the best vineyards, located atop sunny, south-facing hills, are planted with Nebbiolo. A popular entry-level alternative to its pricier neighbors, Nebbiolo d’Alba is softer and less tannic, ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling.

Dolcetto, one of Piedmont’s more easygoing varieties, is commonly grown here, known as Dolecetto d'Alba, and can often be found casually served in carafes on the tables of Alba’s oseterias and trattorias. These light and smooth wines are meant to be drunk young and with gusto while the region’s more serious wines age. Barbera is planted here as well, and takes on a more powerful, structured personality than that of its counterparts in Asti.

Dolcetto

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An easy-drinker with modest acidity and soft fruity flavors, Dolcetto is often enjoyed in its native Piedmont while more serious Barolos and Barbarescos take their time to age. Here, this is the wine you are most likely to find at the dinner table on a casual Tuesday night. In recent years Dolcetto has found some footing in California, but plantings are fairly limited outside of Italy.

In the Glass

Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one,” and though the wines produced are typically not sweet in terms of residual sugar, they do possess delightfully fruity flavors of red cherry and blueberry, with an almond-like bitterness at the end and occasional hints of chocolate and licorice. While Dolcetto can be tannic, it is relatively low in acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Dolcetto is a lively, exuberant variety without much complexity, and as such is best paired with simple, flavorsome foods such as pasta, pizza, and grilled meats—anything an Italian farmer might consume after a long day in the fields.

Sommelier Secret

In most of Piedmont, easy-ripening Dolcetto is relegated to the less ideal vineyard locations, which are reserved for more finicky Nebbiolo and Barbera. However, in the Dogliani zone it is the star of the show, and here it makes a bigger, riper, and often more serious style of wine.

NBICAILLOURRESERVE_2006 Item# 97818

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