Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2011
Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
A pleasant pale tint with greenish glints. The nose is intense with white peach and grapefruit tones and a touch of blackcurrant. Wonderfully crisp in the mouth and very smooth. A wine that shows a freshness, roundness and fruitiness with a good length and hints of citrus and violet.
Blend: 39% Roussanne, 38% Grenache White, 15% Clairette, 8% Bourboulenc
The Wine Advocate - "A similar blend (slightly more Grenache Blanc), the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc shows a touch more citrus and green herbs, with additional minerality that is most likely due more to the additional year in bottle than anything else. Slightly leaner and straighter than the 2012, it too is a beautiful wine that stays beautifully focused, with impressive acidity and an overall classy feel. Drink it over the coming year or two."
Wine & Spirits - "This rolls over the tongue with the smoothness of a galet, leaving a warm, sunny impression behind. It's opulent and oaky, as creamy as rice pudding, with a salty minerality that turns it savory and mouthwatering."
Wine Spectator - "This is high-pitched, with talc, green almond, plantain, chamomile and green plum notes that move along briskly, ending in a pure, stony finish."
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Chateau La Nerthe Winery
Chateau La Nerthe was born in the 12th century around the time vines were first planted in the stone-strewn soil of Chateauneuf-du-Pape ("the Pope's new castle"), the place the pontiffs chose for their summer residence when the papal court relocated to Avignon. Chateau La Nerthe has always been graced by the attentive care of its successive owners, and they have all contributed to the reputation for excellence that La Nerthe has acquired and maintained. View all Chateau La Nerthe Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-Pape(shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.