Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s “Wow” Vintage
The 2015 Le Clos du Caillou “Les Safres” is a richly textured, organically-grown Châteauneuf-du-Pape. When Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate hails a red wine “as seamless and sexy as they come,” and awards a stunning 93-95 points, we pay attention. Clos du Caillou’s regular Chateauneuf du Pape is highly regarded, but today;s “Les Safres” prestige bottling is in a league of its own, as The Wine Advocate says; “A big step up over the base cuvée, the deeper, more purple-hued 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Safres offers a downright smorgasbord of Provençal herbs, spices, wild strawberries, garrigue, and black cherry aromas and flavors.” The watershed 2015 vintage — one winemakers and experts hail as among the greatest of the Southern Rhône, alongside 1998, 2005, and 2010 — yielded mesmerizing reds, and this blockbuster wine is a great addition to any Rhône connoisseur’s cellar. This is a “wow” wine from a “wow” vintage that you’ll want to get your hands on.
“Les Safres” is named after the compacted sand undergirding the terroir of the estate lieu-dit “Les Bedines,” which imparts supple tannins and silky elegance to this “full-bodied” Grenache with “incredible purity.” Caillou has been practicing biodynamic viticulture at its estate in Courthézon since 2003, certified organic since 2010.
The start of the domaine's path from a wooded hunting idyll to a domaine recognized as one of the best domains in the appellation, began when the current owner's father Claude Pouizin acquired the property in 1955. After 40 years of hard work to build a domaine - Claude Pouizin wanted to retire. It was only Sylvie, the youngest of his three daughters, who was interested in taking over the domaine. She was married to the son of a winegrower in Sancerre, Jean-Denis Vacheron. In 1996 the couple moved with their two children, the 2-year-old daughter Marilou and the newborn son Axel to Clos du Caillou and took over the domaine.
The change of generation meant that the property's wines got a huge quality boost. The wine writers especially in America praised Vacherons effort, and exports to America increased tremendously. Star consultant Philippe Cambie began in 2001 as advisor of Jean-Denis Vacheron. Another lucky alliance was the hiring of the winemaker Bruno Gaspard, who has been responsible for winemaking since 2002.