Château La Nerthe is one of the oldest estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and extends over 220 acres around the castle. The terroir is typical for the region with vineyards that run along a slope with sandy-clay soils. On the surface there is a layer of the famous galets (large, round, well-worn stones that originated in the Alps) having been carried down to Rhône by the glaciers of previous ice ages. The farther down the slope the more these stones dominate.
All 13 of the permitted primary varietals are planted here. Grenache dominates 62% of the vineyards and the average vine age is over 40 years old. The grapes are hand picked and sorted on tables. The grapes are then put into vats for 18 to 21 days with regular pump overs and punch downs; tasting the must everyday during fermentation to ensure the best extraction of the berry compounds. At the end the wines are racked into oak vats for malolactic fermentation. When this second fermentation is complete, the cuvée will be racked in big casks and barrels for 12 months before blending. Bottling takes place 6 months later.
The dark, deep, inky color of the wine shows immediately, stemming from the concentration of the vintage. Nose of blackcurrants, black tea and dried flowers stands out. The mouth is rich, fruity and velvety with an incredibly layered tannic structure. The wine is balanced and pure with strong intense and incredibly long aging potential.
To drink with lamb or beef stew with ‘grand veneur’ sauce, duck fillet.