This was my 2nd favorite red wine of the night at Otis' party on Saturday. The wines of this estate were in Thomas Jeffersons cellar. Needless to say the estate has a long history of fine wine making. 1998 is a vintage in the Southern Rhone that speaks for itself. Many of the wines may be in a dull stage now but this wine was drinking very nicely. I don't know what the ratings for this wine were.

This wine was a rustic red color. It was also rustic in style. There was no hint of brett in either the nose or flavor. This wine was silky smooth with an elegant texture as flavors of plum, smoke and berry swirled on the palate. Then BAM!! It slaps you silly with a sharp finish. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, medium bodied with firm tannins. Wish I had some. 92+ points.

VM
Original Post
This wine was the star of the a "Rhone Reds" seminar I took at the Chicago Wine school in 2000, so it has been drinking well right from its release date. I bought it at Wine Discount Center for $26.

While it has plenty of fruit, it is smartly framed by rustic aromas and flavors. Good balance of ripeness and tannins. 92P.

Cheers,

Otis
VM, to answer your question in your first post, the '98 La Nerthe was rated 87P by WS and 90P by Parker (who says this will drink well from 2000 thru 2014). It is a blend of 49% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 22% Syrah, 8% Cinsault.

The price hike on the 2000 is disappointing to hear. I am sure that the WS 92P rating for the 2000 La Nerthe did not help. It wound up being ranked #9 in their Top 100 of 2002.

Cheers,

Otis
I find it difficult to predict the aging abiltity of young Rhones. I've some too young that tasted ready to drink when young, only to find them vastly improved years later. Based on past vintages of La Nerthe, I'd expect this wine to be at its best 15 years after the vintage date, possibly even 20.

Just one more sip.
Thank you for your insight Board-O. I certainly do hear you concerning aging CDP and aging (appropriate) reds in general. A year or so ago I was involved in a lively debate at a local & well known DC wine shop concerning this very subject (specific to S Rhone). They were claiming that CDPs (except perhaps Beacastel) were meant to be drunk young...and I was disagreeing (I think its very vintage dependent...FI - all my 97s are already gone...)). They claimed that many of the grapes used in CDP (incl Grenache) experience fruit drop out...etc They also claimed that Parker was in agreement with this position. (Parker happens to buy some/much of his CDP there...). Anyway I am in agreement with you and as I have many CDPs & other S Rhone (perhaps a hundred bottles or so...) in the cellar I can always find something appropriate to drink - though I am always trying to guage the "right" time for each (or at least to determine what to open next)...sometimes taking it day by day is the best we can hope for...
Well, here's an example of which I'm sure. The 1978 Vieux Telegraphe is at its peak now. I've had it 11 times, ten of which were too early. I wondered how Parker had given this a 94. Now I know. The previous ten bottles all tasted ready to drink, but blah. By that, I mean they weren't dominated by tannins; they were just closed.

Just one more sip.
I for one will "try" to age my '00 CdPs. Perhaps it depends on the producer - but I would luv to try some with some age. Same with '01 Germans. Same with (any) Bordeaux. I guess thats leaves me with Calif. zins for immediate consumption. Don't you just hate it when you have to run to the wine store cause nothing is ready? I guess I could avoid this if I was willing to purchase at auction, which I am not. Oh well. So I comit infanticide every now and then . . .

Blue Oval
Aroma of strawberry and caramel. Tastes of rasberry, baked apple, mineral and a little cinnamon. Nice acidity and smooth but strong tannic structure. Delicious long finish. I have had this 2 other times and this is the best showing to date easy. Man, I love 1998 CdP - great vintage across the board.

Check back in 2 - 10 years or anytime in between. I love these young or old.

93 points
Tasting young Rhones - particularly Grenache-based ones - and determining their ageability, is very difficult. Grenache can be paper thin when young, only to put on exponential weight as it ages (Rayas). Other versions can be hard as nails for a while, only to emerge as spice, truffle and terroir-laden beauties (Vieux Donjon, Vieux Télé). Knowing the track record of the wine in question, and experience with the wines both young and old are keys to figuring them out. A nice saddle of lamb and some truffles helps too ;-).

As for La Nerthe, I like the wines very much, but they do tend to age a little earlier than most of their peers. In good vintages, the regular cuvée is at peak 10-15 years down the road, the Cuvée des Cadettes 15-20, tops.
James, I have several bottles of the '01, regular bottling (93 pts). I have noticed from the WS ratings, that the '01 is recommended to drink by 2007, yet virtually every other vintage seems to have a 10 - 15 year window. Is there something unique about the '01 that would drive us to this conclusion?
quote:
Originally posted by James Molesworth:
Tasting young Rhones - particularly Grenache-based ones - and determining their ageability, is very difficult. Grenache can be paper thin when young, only to put on exponential weight as it ages (Rayas). Other versions can be hard as nails for a while, only to emerge as spice, truffle and terroir-laden beauties (Vieux Donjon, Vieux Télé). Knowing the track record of the wine in question, and experience with the wines both young and old are keys to figuring them out.


I agree completely! I find evaluating the evolution of young Rhones the single most difficult task in wine tasting. Furthermore, the single biggest mistake I've made in drinking wine is consuming my Rhones too young.
quote:
Originally posted by mpls wine guy:
1998 CDP's are just starting to come back around from a dumb phase. I have La Nerthe, Pegau reservee, and cuvee Laurence, Beaucastel, Vieux Telegraphe, Mordoree Reine Du Bois,and Janasse. I'm gonna give them a few more years before I open one again.

I opened the 98 Pegau cuvee Laurence last week. Initially very tight, but after 30 mins of air it really came around. This turned into a spectacular wine!
After all this talk recently about La Nerthe, I decided to open one.

  • 1998 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (6/14/2007)
    Not decanted.
    On the nose, a bit of barnyard, herbes de provence, cherries.
    On the palate some dark fruits, mushrooms, spices with a medium to long finish.
    Everything is fully integrated and perfectly mature. IMO, it's not gonna get any better but should hold like that for at least another 5-7 years.
    Really good wine.

Posted from CellarTracker
Saturday night I opened a 1998 Pegau Cuvee Laurence magnum. I bought it at the winery in 2003 with my brother and drank it with him saturday. People on the Tanzer board thought the fruit was starting to dry out so he wanted to open it. Ruby purple to the rim with slight bricking. Nose of tobacco, tar, pepper, cedar and black fruits. In the mouth licorice, bing cherry, blackberry, roasted herbs, espresso and cassis. Good minerality and acidity. Drank the best when popped and poured without decant. As the night went on the fruit dried out with more air. This wine will probably evolve but in what direction I'm not sure. Hopefully the fruit will flesh out and not dry up. 92-93 pts from first pop and pour.

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