Monday, May 28, 2007

Wine of the Week: 2005 Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhone

Continuing with our theme of reasonably priced wines of the week, I tried a 2005 Cotes du Rhone from Clos du Caillou. This domaine, also known as Vacheron-Pouizin, is a small grower in Chateauneuf du Pape and the surrounding areas that has quickly been developing an excellent reputation. Much of this reputation comes, of course, from their Chateauneufs (tending toward a modern style) rather than from their other wines, but I decided to taste their least heralded wine: a plain Cotes du Rhone--not even a villages or their impressive Bouquet des Garrigues.

The wine is definitely young--it could probably use a year or two in the cellar. But it is very drinkable right now. It was a little forward, even brash, initially. After getting some oxygen in the glass it calmed down and came nicely into balance. Like almost any wine you can get at its price, it wasn't terribly complex (although it certainly was not dumb either). The bottom line is that this is a very enjoyable drinking experience with moderate, well-integrated fruit and an appropriate level of acidity to complement. It's perfect to drink after a hard day of work when looking for a wine to casually appreciate rather than to subject to the full intensity of one's intellectual and tasting capacity.

Update: The wine should be available in the neighborhood of $15.

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