#3 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf du Pape 2019
If you’ve been making wine since the 16th century, making the SPS Top 10 List is probably not going to get your attention. One of our favorite wine regions, the Rhône Valley produces amazing wines almost every vintage and 2019 was exceptional. Three separate heat waves scattered with rain and periods of moderate temperatures have produced wines of elegance and power. A lot of tannin, a lot of alcohol, but still fresh would be an apt way to describe this vintage year. It’s also an excellent way to describe the La Nerthe Chateauneuf du Pape. An actual estate, with sand, clay and the infamous galet stones soil, everything is done by hand, there are no corners being cut here. Traditionally, La Nerthe grows all 13 permitted varietals, but Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre and Syrah make up this cuvée. Dark, deep, and inky with blackcurrants, black tea and flowers on the nose, the mouth is rich, fruity, and velvety with an incredible tannic structure. The wine is balanced and pure with strong intense and incredibly long aging potential. Drink some for the holidays and save the rest of the case for the next 25 years.