Clos des Fous is an exciting project between four Chilean friends: Pedro Parra (the viticulturalist, also credited for discovering many of the top vineyard sites across Chile), François Massoc and Paco Leyton (the winemakers), and Albert Cussen, who looks after the business. ‘Fous’ is the French word for ‘crazy men’, a reference to what their peers described as their ‘craziness’ in crossing the traditional vineyard boundaries of Chile to source grapes from vineyards in the extreme conditions further south and east.
Clos des Fous has 19 hectares of vineyards. The Grillos Cantores vineyard is located in the Alto Cachapoal DO. This sits at the foot of the Andes, experiencing very cold nights with significant temperature fluctuations. The site corresponds to alluvial, ancient soils, limestone and granite gravel. Pedro Parra’s key aim was to move plantings away from the fertile plains and up the slopes into the Andean and Coastal ranges, where the rockier soils result in lower vine vigour and deeper roots, which he believes gives better balance and more finesse to the wines.
‘Grillos Cantores’ (or ‘singing crickets’) is the single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon in the Alto Cachapoal, just six kilometres from the Andes mountains. The decaying granite and volcanic rocks that are present in the soil here provide the wine with a distinct mineral character and very Bordeaux in style. Beautiful ruby red colour, with a characteristic nose of red fruits and black cherries. Hints of spice, black pepper and green tea develop in the glass. On the palate, the wine is silky, generous and broad, with soft tannins and long finnish.