Clos des Fous was founded in 2008 by Pedro Parra, Francois Massoc, Paco Leyton and Albert Cussen. The four friends were tired of hearing that Chilean wine was all boring, industrial, green, and overripe so they set out in search of the Dark Side of the Moon. Francois and Pedro are longtime friends, akin to brothers, and both have spent much time abroad making wine and working vineyards in Europe. Clos des Fous’ philosophy is to produce wines with tension, from grapes grown in extreme terroir, with minimal intervention in the winery. Clos des Fous owns and manages vineyards in Malleco, Guarilihue, Alto Cahapoal, and Western Aconcagua. They produce a variety of wines and work with multiple iterations of Pinot Noir, Cinsault, Pais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling at their winery in Cauquenes, Maule. Pedro Parra has a Masters degree in precision agriculture and a Ph.D. for his work with terroir. Pedro currently consults as a terroir specialist around the globe in Argentina, Oregon, Italy, France, Spain, Georgia, Croatia, and beyond working with world renowned vignerons like Jean Marc Roulot. Clos des Fous is one of Chile’s most innovative, inspiring, and authentic wineries producing some of the most exciting wines in South America.
The 2012 Tocao is produced from a small centenary vineyard of Malbec from Bío-Bío with some 16% Carignan and 4% Carménère from Cauquenes, and has a more mainstream profile with quite a lot of influence from the barrel aging; there are plenty of toasted aromas and spices over a core of violets and ripe plums, with some herbs thrown into the mix. The palate is round and fleshy with some edges from the oak that seem to need some polishing. This is the most commercial (and expensive) wine from Clos des Fous, perhaps because this is the first vintage and it was 100% new barrique. 3,600 bottles produced. [91 points, Luiz Gutierrez – December 2015, robertparker.com]