Vinous – 94+
Inky purple. Pungent black and blue fruit scents are complicated by intense vanilla and floral accents and pick up spiciness with air. Stains the palate with sappy blueberry, cassis and vanilla flavors that are lifted by juicy acidity. The oak element is strong but the fruit is even more powerful. Shows excellent energy and thrust on the clinging finish, which eventually leaves sweet dark fruit preserve and floral pastille notes behind.
Robert Parker – 96
Not unexpectedly, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Cadettes (a blend of 39% Mourvedre, 35% Syrah and the rest Grenache, aged in small barrels) is a long-term proposition for Rhone wine enthusiasts. Dense bluish/purple to the rim, with notes of blueberry, black raspberry liqueur, kirsch, spice box, vanillin, graphite and licorice, the wine is extraordinarily complex, deep, full-bodied and juicy, with a sweet, luxurious mid-palate and long finish with moderately high tannin. Give this wine a good 5-6 years of cellaring, as it should age for 30-35 years. Christian Voeux, the general administrator at La Nerthe, told me that of all the wines made at the estate since 1998, this has the highest dry extract and polyphenols ever measured, even richer than their 2001 Cuvee des Cadettes. Readers should realize that neither the luxury cuvee, the white Chateauneuf du Pape, La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir, not the sensational top red cuvee called Cuvee des Cadettes were produced in 2011. The seriousness of La Nerthe is evidenced by the introduction of a second wine in order to preserve the integrity and exquisite quality of their top cuvees. Their new red, the Chateauneuf du Pape Les Granieres, is primarily a blend of nearly 50% Grenache and almost equal portions of Mourvedre and Syrah, with a touch of Cinsault, aged largely in old wood foudres, but with some of the Syrah and Mourvedre components in small barrels. Importer: Pasternak Wine Imports, Harrison, NY; tel. (800) 946-3110
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2052