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Archives affirm Château 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 Châteauneuf’s oldest estates. Located in the heart of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC region of southern France, the 225 acres of Château La Nerthe vineyards are located in a single block around the Château and have been certified organic since 1998. The terroir is 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 Rhône 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.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhône Valley), France
35% Grenache blanc, 33% Roussanne, 18% Bourboulenc, 14% Clairette
The 2014 vintage is commonly called a “vintner’s vintage”, in the sense that the work done in the vineyards throughout the year was a key factor to achieving great results. The work started in early spring and finished in late autumn, an exhausting year that resulted in beautiful grapes. Summer consisted of rain, cool nights and below average sunshine, delaying the ripening of the grapes. The sugar content is moderate, and the acidity of juice sufficient, resulting in perfectly balanced wines.
Hand harvesting is done early in the morning to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, and grapes are sorted to remove any that are unripe or diseased. The whole grapes are slowly pressed for only premium juice extractions. Fermentation of the Roussanne based juice takes place in 228 litre foudres (1/3 being new barrels), and then aged on the lees. Wine from the other grape varieties is made in temperature controlled stainless steel vats and then stored to age on the lees. The wine is aged 38% in barrels and 62% in stainless steel tanks, with blending taking place shortly before bottling.
A beautiful pale yellow color with green highlights. On the nose, expressive and complex with pear, pastry and candied citrus tones. Lovely freshness on the palate, with hints of white peach and dried candied fruits. The finish is long with floral notes, a touch of pineapple and green banana, all wrapped in a beautiful sweetness.