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Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2000

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • WS92
0% ABV
  • W&S93
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • W&S93
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  • RP90
  • W&S92
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • RP93
  • WE91
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • W&S93
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  • WS88
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

Number 9 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2002!

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Big wine, but so reined and sleek, it comes across as delicate on the palate. Plenty of finely tuned oak, with vanilla, chocolate and mocha aromas that blend into the sweet red and blackberry to produce a classy and satiny wine that is surprisingly aristocratic for this appellation. Like a charming red Burgundy from chambolle-musgny.
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Chateau La Nerthe

Chateau La Nerthe

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Chateau La Nerthe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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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.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

MLNNERTHE_2000 Item# 52698