by Fred McMillin
for March 3, 1998

A Pape White, Love at First Sight


Prologue

1871—The wines of Chateau-neuf-du-Pape [sic] owe their trade value...to their spirituosity. One of the most remarkable vineyards of the district is La Nerthe.

... "A Treatise on the Origin, Nature, and Varieties of Wine," by Drs. Thudichum and Dupre, London

1996—While Chateauneuf-Du-Pape production has been chiefly red, white Pape is becoming more abundant, increasing from 19,000 cases in 1978 to 78,000 cases in 1993. Overall quality has also improved dramatically, changing from heavy, low-acid to a crisp, fresher style with less wood aging...La Nerthe, Chateauneuf's most elegant property, makes whites that should not be overlooked. Although they have plenty of fruit and elegance in youth, they are deliberately designed to develop in the bottle for over a decade.

..."Rhone Renaissance," by Remington Norman


The Rest of the Story

It's a high-octane, memorable white...Chateau La Nerthe's $33 White Chateauneuf-du-Pape. So if you like 'em big and bold, pour this with smoked turkey, honey-baked ham, or your favorite veal dish. My 13 tasters gave it a resounding HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating.


The Wine

1995 White Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateau La Nerthe
(for more La Nerthe, see the Sept. 2, 1997 WineDay article, "Hot Rocks.")
Tasting Notes—Sharp contrast to high-oak California Chardonnay; earth, body, power, serious stuff...plenty of "spirituosity."
Contact—Matt Egan, NYC, (212) 888-7575
Price - $33.


Postscript:

The Pope's majestic new chateau was completed north of Avignon in 1333. Six hundred and eleven years later (August 1944) the Germans blew it up.

 


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


 


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