(2009 Vintage) A wine with a beautiful dark color, with purple reflections. On the nose, we are seduced by the intensity and the purity of the fruit, by the discrete perception of the aromas coming from the ageing in barrels, by the touch of velvet that bring so much complexity. On the palate, the charm continue to operate. The wine is perfectly balanced, fleshy, round, structured, but still dominated by this finese and precision that makes it accessible. The finish is long with hints of sweetness, fruit paste, and sweet spices. Archives affirm Chateau La Nerthe’s existence as early as 1560, while suggesting an even more distant past dating to the dawn of the region’s wine culture in the 12th century making it one of Chateauneuf’s oldest estates. Located in the heart of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape aoc region of southern France not far from Avignon, the 90 hectares (225 acres) of Chateau La Nerthe vineyards are located in a single block around the Chateau and have been certified Organic since 1998. The terroir is very typical for the region: vineyards runs along a slope, at the top of which the vines dig their roots into soils of sandy-clay, on the surface there is a layer of the famous galettes, large, round, well-worn stones that originated in the Alps, having been carried down to the Rhone by the glaciers of previous ice ages. The further down the slope of the vineyard you travel, the more these stones dominate. All 14 of the permitted primary varietals are planted- Grenache dominates 62% of vineyards and the vines average over 40 years old. The winter was normal temperatures for the season with some frost but no snowfall. Temperatures were above normal in spring, leading to very early bud break on the vines, some 10 days earlier than usual. The crop was limited (due to coulure) on the Grenache vines caused by the wide variation of temperatures and morning dew between day and night. In summer the veraison begin 10 to 15 days earlier than in 2008. Harvesting started early, with the white varieties being picked around 20th August and the red towards the 25th. The crop showed a very satisfactory state of health and the weather during the harvests was nice. The 2009 vintage was one of the earliest harvests of the last decade. The wine was aged 36 % in oak barrels and 64 % in stainless vat.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(2000 Vintage) Relying on Syrah more than on Grenache, this is an unusual wine for Chateauneuf du Pape, yet it may well be a harbinger for things to come if the worldly Syrah is used in increasing amounts. Expansive in its aromas and combining dried grapes and the chocolatey notes of high ripeness with distinct raspberry, blackberry, smoked meat and rich oak characteristics, it is long on the palate and noticeably tannic. It cries out for bottle aging.
Robert Parker(2003 Vintage) "The 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition (47% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 26% Syrah, 5% Cinsault, and 2% various) is a 20,000-case cuvee that is medium ruby, shows evolved, spicy, peppery, herbal notes, soft, round, seductive flavors, impressive complexity, but not the depth and intensity of the top vintages. It is a seductively styled Chateauneuf du Pape to drink over the next 6-8 years."
Wine Advocate(1998 Vintage) Rating: (90-93) - As reviewed in Wine Advocate # 125 on Oct-99
Wine Spectator(1989 Vintage) Rating: 88/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 10/15/91.