' Quintessential Wines - Chateauneuf du Pape Les Cailloux Rouge

Châteauneuf du Pape Les Cailloux Rouge 2018


Les Cailloux Rouge 2018 has an elegant and clean nose that features red fruits typical of Grenache (strawberry, cherry, raspberry), combined with spice and pepper from Mourvedre and Syrah. The spices are more pronounced on the palate, enhanced by a touch of oak from Syrah that is aged in the same barrels where its fermentation takes place. In the mouth, the wine is less fruit-driven than classic Châteauneuf du Pape, showing its savory side through a long finish. It is approachable now and will continue to evolve for five to eight years.

Wine Facts

Winemaker Notes
Les Cailloux is French for the “round pebbles” found in the vineyards. The area is composed of multiple plots, each with their own distinct characteristics that give this wine its complexity. The gravel beds of Bois de la Ville and Les Serres have perfect drainage, bringing a great concentration of flavor to the grapes. Farguerol and Cansaud are known for red and blue clay soil, which leads to the rich aromatics in the nose and on the palate. The grapes from the Cabrieres and Reves vineyards are grown in the chalky, limestone soil that brings an overall structure and long finish.

In 2018, a cold and windy spring and a cool summer led to a wine with a bit less concentration compare to classic Châteauneuf du Pape vintages, but with more balance and elegance. The Grenache harvest was smaller than usual, so more Mourvèdre and Syrah were used in the blend. The result is a wine with a bit more pepper and spice compared to what is normally produced.

The harvest lasted from early September for Syrah until the beginning of October for Mourvèdre. The grapes were fully destemmed, except the last week when the stems are mature and provide extra tannins. After fermentation, the Syrah was aged between twelve and eighteen months in one- or two-year- old Burgundian oak. The Mourvèdre and Grenache were co- fermented and aged in concrete vats. The blend was made once the Syrah finished ageing, and then bottling took place three to six months after blending. After bottling, the wine rested three months before its release.

Serving Hints
This wine may be enjoyed while still young, but its full potential will be realized after a minimum of five years cellaring, and reach its peak at around eight years.

Producer: André Brunel
Region: Châteauneuf du Pape
Country: France
Wine Composition: 60% Grenache, 27% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, & 3% Cinsault  
Alcohol: 14.5%
Total Acidity: 2.93 g/l
Residual Sugar: .11 g/l
pH: 3.65

Press Highlights

2019: 92 Pts - Wine Advocate, May 2022
2019: 91 Pts - Decanter, Feb 2022
2018: 92 Pts - Wine Advocate, Aug 2020
2018: 92 Pts - Wine Spectator, Dec 2021
2017: 94 Pts - Wine Enthusiast, March 2021
2016: 94 Pts - Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2019
2015: 91-93 Pts - Vinous, March 2017

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