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la nerthe

Caught in the Nerthe

Château La Nerthe 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhône) – My expectation, at uncorking, is that this is going to be an oaky mess falling apart at the cabinetry seams. And my initial impression of the wine does not exactly counter this expectation. There’s butter, there’s lacticity, there’s toast, there’s stale and somewhat rancid autumnal decay. But then, something interesting happens: the wine within emerges, and whatever might have been done to it along the way doesn’t hold the entirety of the field. Dark berries? Yes, old and dusty as is typical, with venison jerky and a sort of stew-like, meat-based acidity that is entirely typical of CdP but which I have never been able to properly describe (I doubt “stew-like, meat-based acidity” is going to catch on, even with me). It’s nowhere near as good as it should have been, due to a surplus of interest in modernity, but it’s certainly not bad. (10/11)

In Nerthe

Château La Nerthe 1999 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhône) – Dill and huge acidity. A gross perversion of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Yuck, yuck, yuck. (2/08)