Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee des Cadettes 2004
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
A great La Nerthe classic and true wine of the "terroir," it can be laid down for five to twenty years.
Wine Spectator - "Polished, with plum, violet and mocha notes, yet also very packed, with fleshy plum and boysenberry fruit and licorice and graphite flavors. The long, spice- and fruit-filled finish is really well-built. Hard to lay off now, but should only get better. Drink now through 2027. 1,000 cases made. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Cadettes boasts more raspberry and red fruits than the 2005 with decent acidity, powerful flavors for a 2004, and surprising depth and length. This will certainly be one of the vintage's richest, densest, and longest-lived wines, drinking reasonably well young, but not hitting its peak for another 3-4 years. It will last for at least two decades.
Because of the use of small barriques, especially 100% of them for the top-notch Cuvee des Cadettes Chateauneuf du Pape, I suppose it's popular to say that La Nerthe is a modern style of Chateauneuf du Pape, but I would prefer to use the word "progressive." That's largely because this is an estate where the new oak is not overdone, due mostly to their use of so much Mourvedre and Syrah in the final blend. In fact, other than Beaucastel and Clos St.-Michel, La Nerthe is the only other estate in Chateauneuf du Pape to use so much Mourvedre in their wines, which obviously provides structure. Moreover, the Mourvedre can handle barriques."
Chateau La Nerthe Winery
Archives affirm Château La Nerthe’s existence as early as 1560, while suggesting an even more distant past dating to the dawn of the region’s wine culture in the 12th century making it one of Châteauneuf’s oldest estates. Located in the heart of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC region of southern France not far from Avignon, the 225 acres of Château La Nerthe vineyards are located in a single block around the Château and have been certified Organic since 1998. The terroir is very typical for the region: vineyards runs along a slope, at the top of which the vines dig their roots into soils of sandy-clay, on the surface there is a layer of the famous galettes, large, round, well-worn stones that originated in the Alps, having been carried down to the Rhône by the glaciers of previous ice ages. The further down the slope of the vineyard you travel, the more these stones dominate. All 14 of the permitted primary varietals are planted-Grenache dominates 62% of vineyards and the vines average over 40 years old. Château La Nerthe is THE expression of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. View all Chateau La Nerthe Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (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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