A Rare and Remarkable Châteauneuf Reserve Red
I had just put the finishing touches on a Wine Access email about my love for Rhône wines when Sur Lucero, our Master Sommelier, asked if I wanted to go to Farmstead in St. Helena for a tasting that would include some incredible wines from the Southern Rhône. It seemed like fate. Considering that today’s 95-point 2012 Le Clos du Caillou CdP Réserve is up for grabs as a result of that lunch; so I’m extremely happy I went. The Clos du Caillou wines are exceptional year after year, and their top cuvée stands alongside powerhouse producers Château Rayas and Château de Beaucastel as one of the top blends in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. Here in the US, you might be able to find it elsewhere for $219 per bottle. Today, 125 bottles are up for grabs at just $149.99 only on Wine Access.
At Farmstead, as Sur and I tasted through Le Clos du Caillou's current lineup we grew excited when the importer revealed the 2012 Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Réserve. This is Caillou’s flagship wine and it is produced from 60- to 80-year-old vines — and only in the top vintages. 2012 was extraordinary in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, so we were surprised to see a prestige cuvée like this one still available.
I can’t say we were surprised at what we tasted; the 2012 Réserve, after all, had earned 95 points from both Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Antonio Galloni who called it “One of my favorite wines of the vintage.” Voluptuous and spicy, with tons of the black olive, lavender, and thyme notes that are a hallmark of great Châteauneuf, the four years of bottle age have put a soft and luxurious robe on the powerful wine.
I claimed every last bottle of the 2012 Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Réserve as the importer would give up for Wine Access clients. You don’t have to think ahead to imagine this gorgeous Châteauneuf hitting its prime. The Réserve is perfectly aged right now, and is certain to go fast. Secure yours — for enjoyment this year or over the next decade — right now.
Master of Wine Candidate
Vice President of Wine, Wine Access