To learn more about Calicem, here is their brochure with detailed information about history, vineyards, and vinification.
By Linden Wilkie, 20 May 2021
CALICEM is made in a special labour-intensive way, using whole-berry fermentation (‘vinification intégrale’) in 600-litre demi-muid barrels. The 1ha 100% Merlot plot they purchased in 2015, gives naturally low yields, of 30hl/ha or less. Only around 250 cases are made each year. I say ‘each year’, but the quality is so closely guarded that in 2017 Xavier decided to declassify the wine altogether. It’s a very special wine that will repay cellaring, but the fruit and aroma are so delicious, and the texture so velvety, that I would encourage you to buy a bottle to try.
Deliveries around mid-2021
Linden Wilkie: 92-93 points
A deep shade; a rich nose, sweet fruit and some fruitcake, really fragrant; very good intensity of fruit on the palate with some layering of texture, fleshy, bold, with really velvet tannins, and a long finish. There is just a touch of bitterness/chewiness right at the end, (but it is minor), just a little warmth at the end. Very good.
Linden Wilkie: 93-95+ points
Fairly opaque; bright, intense and rich on the nose, fruit-intense, fresh and vibrant in expression; Juicy and concentrated on the palate, really lively fruit, super fine fruit tannins and texture, mineral, with some florals on the finish. Impressively well-balanced, with natural drive from the fruit (rather than oak and extraction). This 2016 is intense but elegant.
Linden Wilkie: 92-94 points
Deep, semi-opaque; a reserved nose, rich and fleshy; a transparent expression of dark berries, cocoa, velvety tannin, a touch of minerality, cherry notes and then a refreshingly bittersweet twist. Very promising, substantial, but not over-pushed 100% Merlot.