Grape(s): Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
Localization: Châteauneu du Pape, Southern Rhône, France
Tasting notes: Le Tradition shows an elegant red color with a bright reflection. The nose is dominated by spices and floral notes like jasmine flower, wild violet, plum fruit, wild strawberries, and arbutus. The palate shows dates and figs aromas, with licorice notes. With a lot of complexity with garrigues bouquet, Le Tradition hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building tannins, and a great finish.
Food pairing: Lamb Shoulder confit, Guinea fowl with foie gras, Hare à la Royale Breast of duck with black pepper
The Domain: The Clos du Caillou was founded in 1895 when Élie Dussaud settled there and created an old cellar. It started as a hunting preserve and this history ironically led to its exclusion from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation upon its creation in the 1930s.
When the government experts arrived at the Clos in 1936 to survey the land for its inclusion in the new appellation, they were met with armed caretakers telling them they were not welcome! This is the reason for the seemingly inexplicable blank spot in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation map.
In the early 20th century, Châteauneuf-du-Pape was plagued by wine fraud; various rules for the production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, drawn up and promulgated in 1923, were the first Appellation Contrôlée rules in France and provided the prototype for subsequent AOC rules. The original AOC rules allowed ten varieties and were amended to thirteen in 1936, and eighteen in 2009. Baron Pierre le Roy of Château Fortia was the principal architect of these regulations, which set the minimum alcohol level of the wines and set limits on yields as well as which types of grapes could be grown in which area. Another one of the Baron's requirements was that no vineyards could be planted on land that wasn't arid enough to support plantings of both lavender and thyme.
The experts who wanted to put Le Clos du Caillou area into the delimitation arrived at the domain and were welcomed with a gun! Then, they decided to not put Le Clos du Caillou in the area of Châteauneuf du Pape. That is why, Le Clos du Caillou produce Côtes du Rhône inside the area of Chateauneuf du Pape... Interested in the development of the commercialization, Claude Pouizin launched the production of the first bottles in the 1970s. His wife, Colette Pouizin start to trade the bottles and developed the commercialization with rigor and humility. For 26 years, Colette Pouzin developed the French market and particularly the sales at the tasting cellar on the vineyard. She liked to welcome and share its passion for the wines and the magic place of Le Clos du Caillou with people from different places of the world.
In 1980, the success of the commercialization of wines from the vineyard attract some importers who decided to start importing the wines of Le Clos du Caillou. Years after years, the exports increased. Today, the wines of the vineyard are exported all around the world.
At the age of 61, Claude Pouizin thinks to his inheritance. Father of three daughters, it will be his youngest daughter Sylvie who will continue his work. Living in Sancerre with her young husband, Jean-Denis Vacheron, Marie-Claire and Jean-Louis Vacheron's son, winemakers in Sancerre, the couple decided to leave Sancerre terroirs for a huge challenge: take over the vineyard Le Clos du Caillou and produce great wines. Then, in 1996, they leave Sancerre and set up at Le Clos du Caillou, with their 2-years-old daughter, Marilou, and their newborn, Axel.
Jean-Denis has a very high ambition for the vineyard. He is determined to produce wines that suit him, free of any diktat. He likes the finesse, the elegance, the Burgundy style.
After the tragic Jean-Denis death in 2002, Sylvie carries on the work and remained focus on the perfect quality of her wines with the precious help of the talented winemaker Bruno GASPARD.
This is in 2002, that Bruno continues the long work set up by Jean-Denis. With rare human values and humility, Bruno found his place in the domain and embraces the talents of a winemaker. He found an estate as high as his talents.
The domain got the organic certification in the 2010 vintage. It was the outcome of efforts towards natural practices started by Claude Pouizin in the early 1950s. It lasted 3 years of reconversion. In this same philosophy, for few years, one part of the vineyard is conducted in biodynamic agriculture way, with the goal to swing on the totality of the vineyard.
In 2020 April, Le Clos du Caillou takes a major step by buying a new estate: Domaine de Panisse.
This beautiful estate, sold by lack of progeny, is composed of a magnificent old building and 33 acres of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, planted on exceptional terroirs of sandy soils.
The vineyard is composed of the traditional grapes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape : Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and also old Cinsault from 1950. Some Grenache was even planted in 1924! We decided to convert to Organic Agriculture the whole estate. We are convinced that the qualitative potential of this estate is immense.
2020 will be our first Vintage, first bottles in 2022...