Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2000
Big wine, but so reined and sleek, it comes across as delicate on the palate. Plenty of finely tuned oak, with vanilla, chocolate and mocha aromas that blend into the sweet red and blackberry to produce a classy and satiny wine that is surprisingly aristocratic for this appellation. Like a charming red Burgundy from chambolle-musgny.
Good deep red. Complex aromas of smoky red and black fruits, licorice, truffle and earth; distinct suggestions of surmaturite. Broad, sweet and lush; silky and voluminous, with a complete absence of rough edges. Finishes subtle and long, with very suave tannins. Has the balance to age, but delicious already.
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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision...
A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.
In the Glass
Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.
Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.
It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.