2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée des Cadettes, Château la Nerthe, Rhône

2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée des Cadettes, Château la Nerthe, Rhône

Product: 20208028987
Prices start from £95.50 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée des Cadettes, Château la Nerthe, Rhône

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Description

The 2020 Cuvée des Cadettes has a lovely nose of creamy blackberries which mingle with freshly picked raspberries. It feels subtle and gentle with a lift of sandalwood and exotic turmeric spice. The palate has the same, gentle feel as the nose. It is ripe yet not at all heavy, and completely balanced. There is an overall blueberry muffin softness to the character of this wine but it is all perfectly supported by a mineral freshness and a fruit presence which now moves more into earthy, grainy blackberries, keeping the wine focused.

The fruit behind is succulent with a red berry juiciness now coming through. Everything feels balanced and in harmony, rounded and soft. There is a warmth to the wine to be expected of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape but it is delightfully easy to drink. The tannins are very, very fine, leaving only the slightest grip on the long and wonderfully refreshing finish.

Drink 2023 - 2035

Catriona Felstead MW, Senior Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd

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Critics reviews

Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20

50% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah. Cask sample.

High proportion of Mourvèdre here. Deep. Spicy, lovely freshness combined with the ripe fruit on the palate. Savoury edge. A very fine, classic Châteauneuf which achieves freshness as well as the weight and heft expected. Red-cherry notes to finish. Refined, appealing, ready now but has a long future ahead.

Drink 2022 - 2030

Andy Howard MW, JancisRobinson.com (March 2022)

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Wine Advocate91+/100

This wine's 25% new oak (the balance is matured in a mix of older barrels and foudres) has given the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Cadettes a pronounced floral, spicy character that's a bit odd for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it's pleasant when combined with the dark, cassis-like fruit. With its round, plump mouthfeel and ample weight on the palate, this is rather supple and charming for a cuvée that historically has demanded ageing.

Drink 2023 - 2035

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (September 2023)

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James Suckling95/100

A perfumed nose of dark cherries, sweet spices, cocoa powder, dried thyme and hints of cola. It's full-bodied with finely grained tannins. Elegant and layered with a restrained character. Harmonious structure with a bright core of berries and herbs leading towards the focused, long finish.

Best after 2024

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (May 2023)

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About this WINE

Chateau la Nerthe

Chateau la Nerthe

Château la Nerthe is a stunning, 500-year-old property becoming ‘one to watch’ in recent years. Working organically since 1998, its 57 parcels on various soils and expositions produce a seamless, complex Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The care taken in both vineyard and cellar has resulted in seriously impressive wines. This property is, absolutely, a worthy rival to the likes of Château de Beaucastel. Winemaker Rémi Jean is as inspiring as the terroir – his understanding of the multiple plots and attention to detail is impressive.

Château la Nerthe’s remarkable terroir produces beautiful wines, year-in, year-out. Rocky, clay and sandy soils combined with natural springs imbue the wines with wonderful freshness and minerality. Rémi says Grenache gives his red blends “magic”, Mourvèdre brings complexity and Syrah provides structure. The very special top white cuvée, Clos de Beauvenir, comes from a single, walled plot: an old castle garden in front of the historic château.

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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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