Le Clos du Caillou

Company: E.A.R.L Pouizin - Vacheron
Sylvie Vacheron 
Clos du Caillou, Chemin Saint-Dominique 84350 Courthezon
Tel. +33 490 707 305
Direct sale: Monday - Friday 9.00-12.00 and 13.30-17.30. Saturday 9.00-12.00.
Mail: closducaillou@wanadoo.fr
Web: http://www.closducaillou.com  

 In 1895 the famous engineer Elie Dussaud (1821-1899) bought Le Clos. At that time the place was covered by wood. The purpose of the acquisition was to use the area as a hunting lodge. Before his death four years after the purchase  Dussaud built a small cellar for wine making. He also built the mansion which later on was rebuilt and extended today and serves as the residence of the Vacheron family.
Elie Dussaud also built Clos Val Seille, the beautiful castle which serves as the mayor's office today, and if extensions today serve as cellars of Domaine Clos Val Seilles. He also owned Chateau de Beaucastel in 1865 when phylloxera paralyzed the wine production all over France.

When it was time to determine the limits of the new appellation of Chateauneuf du Pape the owner did not want to hear of such things. As the geological experts arrived at the scene to investigate soil conditions, they were met by a shotgun with a strong call to keep away from the domain and therefore only 9 ha of the domain's vineyards today became a part of the appellation. If the owner had been more intested in wine the vineyards inside the 3 km long stonewall (Le Clos) would have been included in the appellation. The best Cotes du Rhones are made from here.

The start of the domain's path from a wooded hunting idyll to a domain recognized as one of the best domains in the appellation, began when the current owner's father Claude Pouizin acquired the property in 1955. He started clearing the forest away and to plant vines instead. Most of the domain's vineyards are planted between 1955 and 1978. Winemaking and storage took place in the ancient cellars of the late 1890s. Sales of wines happened in the tank to negociants, but eventually became a larger part bottled and sold from the domain. In 1980 the first export order were shipped. In 1993 the last delivery to a negociant took place. The sale of wines was devellopped by Claude's wife Colette.

In 1995 - after 40 years of hard work to build
a domain - Claude Pouizin wanted  to retire. It was only Sylvie, the youngest of his three daughters, who were interested in taking over the domain. She was married the son of a wine grower 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 domain.

The change of generation meant that the property's wines got a huge quality boost. The wine writers especially in America praised Vacheron's effort, and exports to America increased tremendously. In March 2002 died Jean-Denis Vacheron tragically in a car accident and Sylvie was left alone to take charge.

The oenologist Philippe Cambie began already in 2001 as an advisor of Jean-Denis Vacheron. Another lucky alliance was the hiring of  the winemaker at Chateau du Trignon Bruno Gaspard, who has been responsible for winemaking since 2002.


Both Sylvie's children have undergone training well suited to work at the domain. Axel has a BTS Viticulture Oenologi from Lycée Frédéric Bazille Agropolis in Montpellier, and Marilou an education from IESEG School of Management in Lille. 

Wines

Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition
2016: 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre,10% Syrah. Aged in foudres for 14 months.

Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres  
2016: 95% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre, Vaccarese and Cinsault.
From sandy soil at Lieu-dit Les Bédines, planted between 1954 and 1972. 
Maceration for 32 days. Aged in 8-10-years-old foudres for 14 months

Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz
2015: 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah.
Grenache from lieu-dit Les Cassanets with big stones planted 1956-58.
Syrah from lieu-dit Les Bédines planted 1979. Fermentation in wooden tanks. Ageing in demi-muids or amphoras for 14 months

Chateauneuf du Pape La Réserve
2016: 65% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre. 
Maceration for 30 days in wooden tanks. Aged for 14 months in demi-muids (88%) or amphoras. 

Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Les Safres
2017: 40% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 30% Clairette from the lieux-dits Les Bédines and Pignan. 
Fermented and then aged in pièces for 4 month

Cotes du Rhone Le Caillou
2016: 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, Mourvedre and Counoise. 60+-years-old vines.
In this vintage good "value for money". 

Cotes du Rhone Le Bouquet des Garrigues
2016: 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Carignan, Mourvedre, Cinsault.
This cuvée counts for a big part of the production as it's made from around 30 ha at the lieux dits Codoulet and Garrigues. Vines at least 50-years-old. 
Aged in demi-muids or foudres for 14 months.

Cotes du Rhone Nature
2017: 75% Grenache, 20% Carignan, 5% Mourvedre. no sulphites added.

Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz
2016: 85% Grenache,15% Syrah. The domain's oldes vines - more than 60-years-old growing in the same type of soil as Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz. Maceration for 35 days. Aged in wooden tank, foudres or demi-muids for 14 months.

Cotes du Rhone La Réserve
2016: 75% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre. 
Aged in demi-muids or amphoras for 14 months.

Cotes du Rhone Le Caillou Rosé
2017: 40% Grenache, 35% Counoise, 25% Syrah. Direct press.

Cotes du Rhone Le Caillou Blanc
2017: 45% Grenache Blanc, planted in 1951, 20% Clairette, 20% Bourboulenc,  15% Viognier. 

Cotes du Rhone Blanc Le Bouquet des Garrigues
2017: 40% Clairette 30% Grenache Blanc, 20% Viognier,10% Bourboulenc.

Cotes du Rhone Blanc La Réserve
2017: 97% Clairette, 3% Grenache Blanc.
Vinification in demi-muids (40%) or in steel tank (60%).

  

An apartement is for rent at the domain


Sylvie Vacheron at Marché aux Vins in Cairanne 2014


Bruno Gaspard at the domain July 2018.


Marilou is working at the domain as export manager.
Photo from Les Printemps in Chateauneuf du Pape 2018.


Axel are still during further education but will surely return to the domain


Right Aude Chabot (oenologist) has for years been a part of the team foremost in the cellar worrking together with Bruno Gaspard

. Past and future. The oldest cellar used for temporary keeping of wine. 3 amphoras are used for the best reds so far as an eksperiment.


Vinification cellar with steel tanks wooden tanks and conkrete tanks for the reds. Nearby steel tanks for whites.


The undergroud ageing cellar was constructed by Elie Dussaud in 1890'ties, not for keeping wines but for drilling space for search for water.
Not far from the domain is an old water tower from where water was distributed to Courthezon for many years. 

 

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Updated 2018-08-11