2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Château La Nerthe

2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Château La Nerthe

Product: 20121114746
2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Château La Nerthe

Description

The final blend this year will be 44% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 14% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault, the Syrah now nearly achieving parity with the Grenache and in terms of taste profile it’s certainly just as influential. Maturation has been 63% in barrel, 37% in foudre and the wine rejoices in classic ripeness and purity, aromatic and subtle intensity. An archetype from the modern end of the spectrum.
Simon Field MW, Rhône Wine Buyer

Christian Voeux, with decades of experience at Mont Redon, is now really getting into his stride at the la Nerthe, probably the only property in the village which deserves its ‘château’ prefix. He describes 2012 as a Burgundian vintage, its hallmarks he cites as finesse with latent power. Both Cadettes and Beauvenir have been made this year, in itself a telling sign.. The low yields have engendered concentration and the growing season has favoured Syrah, which is a larger than usual shareholder in the blends. The putative Nerthe share price is rising all the time, it seems.
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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate90-92/100
Wine Advocate90-92/100
From tiny yields of 23 hectoliters per hectare, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape is a classic blend (slightly more Syrah than normal) of 44% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault that will spend time in just over 60% barrels and 40% foudres. A pretty, perfumed and elegant example of this cuvee, it gives up notions of blackberry, raspberry, spice, underbrush and roasted meats as well as medium to full-bodied richness on the palate. Supple and relatively accessible, I suspect it will fill in once bottled and offer over a decade orf longevity. Drink 2014-2022.

One of the larger estates in Chateauneuf du Pape, covering over 200 acres, all of which are in the southeastern portion located around the estate, Chateau La Nerthe is owned by the Richard Family, with Christian Voeux making the wines since 2008. While the winemaking here falls firmly in the modern camp, with a plenty of small barrels utilized (and some new), the wines never seem overly oaked and always hold on to classic Southern Rhone flare.

Drink 2014-2022

Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate #209, Oct 2013 Read more

About this WINE

Chateau la Nerthe

Chateau la Nerthe

Records at Château la Nerthe date back to at least 1560, when the property was founded by the Tulle de Villefranche family. It has been in the Richard family since 1985, headed up today by Corinne Richard.

The 92-hectare vineyard is a patchwork of 57 different plots, representing each of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s soil types, including the signature galet stones. All 13 of the appellation’s permitted grape varieties are grown here, with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre dominating.

The Richard family have invested heavily in both the vineyard and the winery. For now, around half of the red-wine volume is vinified at the individual parcel level. The introduction of more small vats is planned to accommodate ever-more-precise vinification.

Ch. la Nerthe has been farmed organically since 1998. Biodiversity is a key focus: there are woodlands around the vineyard, and the team encourage birds and bats as a natural way to defend against insects, reducing the need for treatments.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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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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