2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château La Nerthe, Rhône

2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château La Nerthe, Rhône

Product: 20161114746
Prices start from £52.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château La Nerthe, Rhône

Description

The final blend this year will be the usual cornucopia of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and 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 60 percent in barrel, 40 percent in foudre and the wine rejoices in classic ripeness and purity, aromatic and subtle intensity. An archetype from the modern end of the spectrum, its modernity is tempered by a robust respect for provenance and the dexterity of an extremely gifted winemaker. Drink 2019 - 2025.

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate92/100
James Suckling93/100
Decanter93/100
Vinous92/100
Wine Advocate92/100

La Nerthe's 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 37% Grenache, 29% Syrah, 25% Mourvdre, 7% Cinsault and 2% others. Aged in a substantial portion of new oak (20%), it shows hints of toast and vanilla on the nose, then plenty of concentrated cherry fruit on the palate. It's full-bodied and plush in texture, making it approachable now, but there's enough tannic backbone and length on the finish to think it will drink well for more than a decade.

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (Jul 2018)

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James Suckling93/100
Up-to-date, classical style with alluring red florals, red berries and light, herbal accents. The palate rolls out plush, plump, dark berries in a silky, smooth chassis. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Aug 2018) Read more
Decanter93/100
Tank sample. Deep, ripe core of fruit and tannin punctured by a tremulous acid line. Vibrant, juicy blackberry and black cherry fruits, with a fragrant violet end. Light on its feet and very drinkable.

Drink 2019 - 2035

Matt Walls, Decanter.com Read more
Vinous92/100
Bright ruby. A highly perfumed nose displays ripe red fruit, lavender and woodsmoke scents that pick up licorice and allspice accents with air. Supple and broad in the mouth, offering sweet raspberry and spicecake flavors and a touch of succulent herbs. Hangs on very nicely on the penetrating, appealingly sweet finish, which features velvety tannins and a hint of cola.

Drink 2022 - 2028

Josh Raynolds, vinous.com (Apr 2018) 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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