Wine Maker Notes
A pleasant pale tint with greenish glints. The nose is intense with white peach and grapefruit tones and a touch of blackcurrant. Wonderfully crisp in the mouth and very smooth. A wine that shows a freshness, roundness and fruitineslength and hinotes of citrus and violet.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 winery’s vineyard has the advantage of being spread over a variety of terroirs typical of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation. This diversity is an important factor in the complexity of the domain’s wines. On the plateau, the ground is covered with large pebbles that store the sun’s heat in the day and release it during the night. The slopes are made up of gravelly and sandy soils that erosion has blended with red clay and chalk. The subsoil is composed of Burdigalian molasse that links the various terroirs of the appellation.The 2011 vintage is particular because of the early bud break due to the warm end of winter and the adequate rainfall. The beginning of the winter was very cold and wet. Around Christ-mas time, the weather changed and became milder. February was cold but dry without any snow this year. March was cold and wet. The end of March and beginning of April were unseasonably warm. Compared to 2010, foliage growth was 10 days more advanced. The warm weather continued throughout April with daytime temperatures reaching 30°C. May was warm and dry with flowering starting at the end of the month. This was two weeks earlier than in 2010. At the end of June, the Mourvedre and Syrah grapes started to ripen. We began to worry that the advance accrued might see us harvesting some grape varieties before the 15th of August. However, Nature has a way of balancing things out and rain and chan-geable weather brought with them cooler conditions and the Mistral wind. The following month of July was cool and rainy and the advance was lost. Ripening continued but at a gentler pace. The summer rainfall was ample without being excessive. Checks carried out on 4th August showed the grapes were at the same stage of ripening as in 2007. Harvesting began on 22nd August with the first white grape varieties, followed by the red on 2nd September. The decision to harvest is taken after the grapes’ ripeness has been checked and the grapes have been tasted. Each plot is checked individually. Harvesting is done early in the morning to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and is carried out by hand. The number of harvesters employed means harvesting is quick and the harvested grapes are sorted to remove any that are unripe or diseased. The whole grapes are brought to the press for the premium juice to be slowly extracted. Fermentation of the Roussanne-based juice takes place in 228-litre pieces (1/3 being new barrels). It is then aged on the lees. Wine from the other grape varieties is made in stainless steel vats under controlled temperature and then stored on the lees. The wine is aged 25% in barrels and 75% in stainless steel tanks, blending takes place shortly before bottling.