Kick starting the week was a delicious and informative tasting with Chateau la Nerthe Export Manager Christophe Bristiel and Pasternak Wine Imports West Division Manager Ben Cuaresma at the San Francisco home of Planet Grape Wine Review co-panelist Deborah Parker Wong.
Christophe explained that Chateau la Nerthe owns Prieure de Montezargues and Domaine de la Renjarde as well, and that all three wineries produce Certified Organic wines now. Wines tasted included a Tavel Rose, a Cotes-du-Rhone Villages, and several Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines, both red and white, including a stunning 2006 Chateau la Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape which was so beautifully open, expressive and seamless with its ten years of bottle age.
I asked if I could enjoy the leftovers with the 49ers vs Dodgers football game that night but unfortunately was turned down. What is one to drink after tasting something so lovely first thing in the morning? I suppose its like the restaurant guest who after ordering Rombauer Chardonnay and being told there wasn't any decided to have Jack Daniels instead.
Bristiel explained the different grapes used so often in Rhone wines, Grenache being the easiest to grow and transform into delicious wine, adding, "Where olive trees stop, Grenache stops." Tavel AOP only produces Rose, with 8 grapes allowed, while Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOP allows 13 grapes and can be red or white. Chateau la Nerthe works with Grenache vines that are up to 120 years old, giving incredibly expressive wines at below-market pricing. Other grapes used include Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Carignan, and for whites, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette and Bourbolenc.
Read our reviews of these wines here: