2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château la Nerthe

2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château la Nerthe

Product: 20111114746
2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château la Nerthe

Description

There is no Cadettes this year, rather surprisingly, so all the benefit goes into the domaine cuvée. What is more, La Nerthe have introduced a second wine called Les Granieres, to ensure that only the very best fruit is allowed into the domaine wine. This is a blend of half Grenache and nearly a quarter each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, with a little Cinsault making up the balance. An extremely impressive wine, the 2011 captures all the qualities that I have admired in the wine over the years, in particular aromatic restraint balanced by a wealth of ripe fruit.
Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer

La Nerthe is by far the grandest of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape properties and now, under the guidance of oenologist Christian Voeux, it is making wines to match. Long feted by the French themselves, La Nerthe is now internationally recognised and lauded for a style which, appropriately enough seems to capture something of the structural grandeur of the greatest properties in Bordeaux.
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About this WINE

Chateau la Nerthe

Chateau la Nerthe

Château la Nerthe is one of the oldest producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The château itself was built in the 18th century, but winery records stretch back as far as 1560.

The Richard family – which also manages various other estates in Beaujolais, Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Rhône – owns the estate. La Nerthe boasts 90 hectares in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, two-thirds of which surround the château, while the final third is located on the famous plateau of La Crau. All the vineyards are farmed organically.

The soils here are a mixture of sandy clay and marl, as well as the typical galets roulés. The property is fortunate to have a natural spring within its grounds, which is incredibly beneficial to the vines in this often drought-prone region.

Although the property has plantings of all 13 of the appellation’s permitted varietals, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah dominate the red blend. The estate has one of the highest proportions of white vines in the region and produces a special white cuvée – Clos de Beauvenir – from the clos directly in front of the château.

Since young and dynamic winemaker Ralph Garcin joined the estate in 2016, small yet significant changes have been made here. Ralph has introduced vinification by plot, investing in smaller fermentation tanks and larger ageing vessels to showcase the quality of the fruit in the cellar. He’s also been making improvements to their viticultural practices, such as introducing organic farming.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate90/100
Jancis16/20
Parker89-91/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate90/100
Tasted out of bottle and a blend of 47% Grenache, 29% Syrah, 22% Mourvedre and the balance Cinsault, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape spent 12 months in mostly barrels, one-third being new. Showing the up-front and perfumed style of the vintage, with loads of spice, licorice, cedar and savory berry fruit, this medium-bodied, supple effort has excellent balance, good freshness and fine tannin. It should drink nicely through 2021. Drink now-2021.
Jeb Dunnuck - 31/10/2013 Read more
Jancis16/20
44% Grenache, 29% Syrah, 25% Mourvdre, 2% Cinsault. Velvety crimson look. Exotic maraschino cherry flavours. Sweet then tight on the finish. Quite sophisticated wine with lots of fine tannins on the end. But certainly atypical.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com 28 Feb 2013 Read more
Parker89-91/100
The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape (often call the “traditional” or “Classic” cuvee) is a blend of 47% Grenache, 29% Syrah, 23% Mourvedre and the rest Cinsault. Since no Cuvee des Cadettes was produced in 2011, all of the old vine and best lots were declassified into this wine. Dense, dark ruby, with notes of boysenberry, black cherry, licorice, lavender, pepper and wood spice, the wine is richly fruity, round and elegant. It should prove to be spot on for drinking in its first 10-12 years of life.

Readers should realize that neither the luxury cuvee, the white Chateauneuf du Pape, La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir, not the sensational top red cuvee called Cuvee des Cadettes were produced in 2011. The seriousness of La Nerthe is evidenced by the introduction of a second wine in order to preserve the integrity and exquisite quality of their top cuvees. Their new red, the Chateauneuf du Pape Les Granieres, is primarily a blend of nearly 50% Grenache and almost equal portions of Mourvedre and Syrah, with a touch of Cinsault, aged largely in old wood foudres, but with some of the Syrah and Mourvedre components in small barrels.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #204, Dec 2012 Read more