2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée des Cadettes, Château La Nerthe

2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée des Cadettes, Château La Nerthe

Product: 20138028987
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2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée des Cadettes, Château La Nerthe

Description

The Cadettes is unusual this year in that there is more Syrah than Grenache in the blend. The wine is appropriately dense with big colour and firm tannins; black fruit with hints of forest floor and even peat complete the picture. Southern warmth meets northern class, and they get on very nicely indeed.
Simon Field MW - Rhône Buyer

Christian Voeux is better qualified than most when he compares 2013 to the most lauded vintages of the late 20th century. Before taking on the prize job at La Nerthe five years ago, Christian was the highly influential winemaker at Château Mont- Redon for 25 years. The prospect of low yields does not rule out ‘vendanges verte’, he muses, in the same way that cooler temperatures do not mean that the wines will be lacking in structure—QED.

A classy effort that could be up with the big boys of the vintage, the inky colored 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Cadettes (42% Syrah, 37% Grenache and 21% Mourvedre) has ample black raspberry and cassis fruit intermixed with licorice, toasted bread, charcoal and background meatiness. While this cuvée sees aging in new French oak barrels, its larger portions of Syrah and Mourvedre soak up any trace of oak in its first few years of life. It’s also worth remembering that while 2013 was difficult for Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre both did well. This medium to full-bodied beauty has fabulous purity of fruit, noticeable, yet ripe, tannin and solid length. It should round into form nicely with short-term cellaring and have 10-15 years of longevity.
Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate Issue#215 Oct 2014
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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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