La Nerthe Cassagnes Cotes Du Rhone
In the ranks of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wineries, Château La Nerthe is one of the region's oldest. First written about as far back as 1560, the winery was constructed in 1736, 53 years before the outbreak of the French Revolution! In 1784 the winery was one of the first in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to estate bottle their own wine. They were also one of the first to export their wines outside of France. Owned by multiple families over the years, Château La Nerthe was purchased by the Richard family, in a partnership with David and Foillard negociants, in the 1980’s. Upon taking ownership of the estate the new owners fully renovated the estate and replanted many of the vineyards. In 1991 the property grew with the acquisition of 22 hectares of vines, making the now 90 hectare estate one of the largest in the region. Managed by winemaker Ralph Garcin (previously employed by Jaboulet in Hermitage), Château La Nerthe’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards are farmed organically and are planted to all 13 permitted grape varieties.
Les Cassagnes Côtes du Rhône Villages is made from grapes harvested from Domaine Renjarde's vineyards in Serignan-du-Comtat, north of Orange and Avignon. Owned by and operated by Château La Nerthe, the 40 year old vines are planted to a mix of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. A great introduction to the Château La Nerthe house style, the grapes for Les Cassagnes were hand-harvested and hand-sorted before being lightly crushed in tanks. The 3 grape varieties saw gentle colour extraction and co-fermentation in vats for about 4 weeks. Once blended, the wine was aged in concrete tanks for 9 months.
This GSM showcases the strength and boldness of what was a hot, southern French vintage. Deeply pigmented with a purple hue, the wine expresses robust aromas of ripe blackberry, kirsch, boysenberry, cedar and grilled meat. The palate is medium-full bodied with stern tannins and round blackfruit flavours. Vigorous and laden with ripe aromas and flavours, this wine packs lots of intensity. Enjoyable now, it will continue to reward 5-8 years of additional cellar time.