JancisRobinson.com – 16.5
Chateau La Nerthe have the highest percentage of white grapes in the region. The Roussanne is fermented and aged in demi-muids, with the other varieties vinified in inert vessels. Grenache Blanc makes up 40% of the blend this year, compared with only 24% in 2016, giving the wine an attractive liquorice and dill note. Roussanne (38%), Clairette Blanc (18%) and Bourboulenc make up the balance. La Nerthe’s practice of blocking malolactic on the whites often gives them a lift of acidity, although this was less of an issue in 2018 with its cooler weather. Greenish, very bright pale yellow. Beguiling, herby nose with lots of different notes but masses of richness on the nose. Satin texture at first and then a little bite on the end. I think this is more impressive than La Nerthe’s reds! But it should be drunk sooner rather than later, or much later.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2022
Robert Parker – 92
The concentrated, dark-fruited 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape is an impressive effort. Always lower in Grenache than most of the wines in the appellation, it remains generous and rich, offering up scents of ripe plums and black cherries, mocha and spice, plus hints of vanilla and dried spices. It’s medium to full-bodied, dense and powerful, while remaining approachable and supple, with a slightly dusty edge of tannic structure evident on the finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2030
Vinous – 92
Saturated ruby. Ripe, smoke- and spice-accented cherry, dark berry, licorice and floral qualities on the highly perfumed nose. Stains the palate with sweet cherry preserve and blackberry flavors that take on baking spice, vanilla and candied lavender accents as the wine stretches out. Shows very good depth as well as energy and finishes long and chewy, with dusty tannins making a late appearance.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2033