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) which were carried down to the 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. Grenache dominates 62% of vineyards and the average vine age is over 40 years old. The grapes are hand picked and sorted on tables. They are then put into vats for 18 to 21 days with regular pump overs and punch downs. The must is tasted every day during fermentation to ensure the best extraction of the berry compounds. Maceration lasts an additional 18 to 20 days and at the end they are racked into concrete tanks for malolactic fermentation. Once this second fermentation is complete, the cuvée is racked in large French oak casks (‘Foudres’) and aged for 12 months before blending. This special re-release has been stored in the winery’s cellar for the last 10 years.
This elegant and modern wine shows ripe dark berries with a touch of ‘garrigue’ and pepper. The mouth is round with silky tannins, sweet spices and ripe and overripe dark fruits, cherries and blackberries. Enjoyable now, but can also be aged for an additional 10 to 20 years.