Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vertical Tasting

Who would be so crazy as to pass up the opportunity to sample these great wines at one sitting? Well not me!

Last night, a group of us got together to taste the following:

2000 and 1998 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape

1989 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Cadettes

As a group, we were most impressed with the 1998 version, followed by the 1989 and then the 2000. At first we did not feel that the 2000 was anywhere near the quality of the other two, but after sitting open for about an hour, it really opened up and smoothed out. It is indeed worthy.

Here are the comments from the group on each of the wines:

2000 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Light purple in color, a slight barnyard aroma at first but that burns off after a bit. There is a touch of eucalyptus. After sitting, this turns vegetative with a touch of bell pepper. The flavors are hot, earthy, mushroom, plum with a eucalyptus aftertaste. It has a spicy finish. We were trying to find a way to describe an almost clove flavor, but couldn’t come up with a better word. There is some pomegranate or perhaps current flavor there also.

The above description fit the wine after it set for a half an hour. But after sitting open for an hour, it really changed for the better. Our notes state that it becomes much smoother after opening up. The aroma contains raspberry and dark fruit. The flavors include cherry and black pepper. The finish has nice pepper and is now very elegant.

1998 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape
A bit deeper in color than the 2000. At first there is a pleasant yeasty aroma which turns to strawberry with a touch of wintergreen. In the mouth, it is very nice, very smooth. There an almost maple syrup or brown sugar sweetness which caries through the velvety, elegant finish.

1989 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Cadettes
Darker purple than the 1998, starting to show its age just a bit. The aroma is earthy, creamy mocha and black pepper. We tasted black pepper with a distant hint of blueberry. The finish is beautiful. This wine is ready to drink now.