Nov 01, 2007
2005 CLOS DU CAILLOU "LES QUARTZ" CDP Vielles Vignes "Cuvee Unique"
**It is important to note this is a North Berkeley Barrel Selection, not to be confused with the Caillou general production of Les Quartz, which does not carry the "Cuvee Unique" or Vielles Vignes monikers.
Any of you who read my reviews regularly, and have tasted the wines I reccomend will know I have little dificulty in writing about wines I enjoy. For this one however, I just have to gush a little bit...
Made from 90 some year old Grenache vines, with a touch of Syrah, this wine is onyx-black at heart, with inky purple hues at the rim. Supremely (ultra? super? ultra-super-supremely?) full bodied & opulent. Lush, and loaded with dense fruit, heaps of mineral, and loads of extract all sublimely integrated. The finish is beyond persistent, even relentless and lasts well more than 3 minutes. As I tasted this wine it seemed larger than it's physical dimensions, and the flavors continued to pump outward, sublimely fanning out across the palate, revealing additional layers of dark fruits, chocolate, wildflowers, and minerals and cassis.
Trying to assess a wine so prodigious is something like going 10 rounds with Andre the Giant, and though I've never had an ass-kicking I enjoyed this much, the level of visceral sensation is about the same as being tossed across the ring and pummeled into a pulp, but in a nice way. In addition to sheer brute force, it also possesses the sort of knock-out cacophony of kaliedoscopic olfactory images you might expect if Timothy Leary were the winemaker, and yet dances across the palate with the dexterity of Fred Astaire.
Moreover, and probably more on point, it is as near a perfect Chateauneuf-du-Pape as I have tasted, certainly the best 'Les Quartz' since the 1996, perhaps even greater. While this wine is not inexpensive, this is will easily stand toe-to-toe with any of the great wines from any other region I have tasted in recent memory, including the 1996 Lafite Rothschild, the 2000 Chateau Pavie, 1999 Bryant Family, the 1982 Chateau Latour, or the 1997 Sassacaia. In a world of wine so vast I recognize there may be other wines of this caliber to be tasted, but for me this is perfect Chateauneuf. Everyone with the opportunity to buy it should take at least three bottles. If you would consider buying a case, you should probably buy two.
— Captain Caveman