Château de Nalys
Chateauneuf-du-Pape Grand Vin Blanc 2019
Guigal’s mastery of growing and producing white wine varieties in the Rhône Valley is exemplified in this wine of immense breadth and power, elegance and expression. Intensely aromatic nose of white flowers, citrus and a touch of vanilla, on the palate the presence is undeniably penetrating, with a deep minerality joining the notes above. Guigal is today the single most important producer by value and volume of white wine in the Rhône, with 25% of their production dedicated to whites. Nalys is 18% planted to whites, very high for the area, and in fact at one point it is believed the estate produced the majority of the entire appellation’s white wine production.
The composition is 36% from the Nalys vineyard, 27% from La Crau, and 37% from Bois Senechal, from vines averaging 45 years of age, with the vintage resulting in even lower than the typically low yields of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 25 hl/ha specifically. The grape varietal composition is 43% Roussanne, 33% Grenache Blanc, 15% Clairette, 6% Bourboulenc, and 3% Piquepoul. All 13 permitted Châteaneuf grapes are planted on all 3 vineyard plots at Nalys.
Surrounding the estate, the “Nalys” vineyard has very fine soils that create supple wines that are extremely silky and retain freshness. These are some of the oldest soils in Châteauneuf, underlying many of the other soil compositions in the appellation, made up of red sandstone, a sandy clay soil, and covered limestone with some soft sandstone at the vineyard edges. This plot is directly adjoining – over the hill – from Rayas, the great example of finesse in Châteaneuf. Official lieu-dit in land registries is “Grande Pierre”.
Vineyard: La Crau
“La Crau” is arguably the single greatest vineyard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Nalys has 38 acres located as a single center-north block. It is famous specifically for structured, complex and intensely expressive wines. Naly’s holdings are the highest elevation of the Crau plateau and bordering forest they own, providing slightly cooler temperatures and ideal drainage – the sweet spot. The soils are made up of the famous galets: large round pebbles derived from the Rhône river. Direct neighbors are Henri Bonneau, La Janasse (used for their Vieilles Vignes), and other leading properties.
Vineyard: Bois Senechal
Adjoining La Crau, Nalys is the sole owner of the top of the plateau. Like La Crau, containing galets, though slightly smaller stones, and sandier soil composition; the wines are slightly less structured, more evenly composed. The site of their best Mourvedre plot, Bois Senechal also has fairly unique terraced vines in rows sloping back to the winery. Neighbors are further below the plateau, Mont Olivet, Domaine de la Solitude. Official lieu-dit is “Bois Seneseau”.
Manual harvest and sort, with pressing and clarification of the must before vinfication and 8 months subsequent aging of 70% in wood (barrels and demi-muids) and 30% in stainless steel.
2019 was another warm and dry vintage in the southern Rhône, marked by insistent drought and repeated heat waves during the season. With little disease pressure or frost, the crop was of normal size, but reduced during the growing season by a lack of water. The grapes were concentrated, rich in sugar, and relatively low in acidity. Harvest at Château de Nalys started in August, and the higher elevation of many of the vineyards (esp Piedlong and Grand Piere) helped retain acidity. The crop was clean and ripe, with great concentration and aromatic expression. Both the Grand Vin and Saintes Pierres show exceptional density and richness, with aromas and flavors of ripe figs, yellow plums and honeysuckle. The Grand Vin offers greater weight and complexity, with firmer acidity. Both wines will be forward and accessible on release and will give the greatest pleasure within their first 10 years.
Pale youthful gold, clear and brilliant color. On the nose intense notes of white flowers and citrus with a lovely vanilla note. The palate has breadth, elegance and length. A noble wine, elegant and very expressive.
Pair with lobster, fish with a beurre blanc sauce, aged goat cheese.
Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul, Roussanne
Vineyards are farmed organically, awaiting certification.
Suggested Retail Price
"Gentle apple compote aroma. This is an elegant, fresh style. Intense freshness, straight in style, not too full-bodied - great precision and clean lines. There's a tightening on the finish that helps create balance and focus. Highly spiced oaky finish. The oak will take time to integrate, but this will be extremely good when it's ready. 43% Roussanne, 33% Grenache Blanc, 15% Clairette, 6% Bourboulenc and 3% Piquepoul. 70% is vinified in barriques and demi-muids where it stays for seven months." - M.W.
Wine Enthusiast -
"Blending is the historic trademark of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and this iconic white highlights the diversity of the region’s white grape varieties as well as terroir. While similar in makeup to its sister bottling, the Saintes Pierres, it’s a richer, more decadent sip packed with ripe pineapple and yellow-apple flavors swathed in honeycomb, orange blossom and vanilla cream. Matured 70% in oak barrels, it’s luscious and spicy but also an elegant, balanced wine that should improve through 2035 and hold longer still." - A.I.
Other Wines by this Producer
The realization of the Guigal family's dream of Chateauneuf-du-Pape: 3 extraordinary vineyards coming together in an intensely expressive, utterly complete wine. It defines the estate style with a precision of fruit, spice and mineral structures and, notably, a beautifully composed structure that builds and unfolds.
Translated as "holy stones", a play on the soils and history of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the second red wine to Chateau de Nalys is an altogether different animal. Differing varietal and plot selections, fermentation, and aging result in a wine that is rich and ample, yet offers immense direct and approachable pleasure; a wine of red fruits, supple structure and brightness.
The second white wine to the Chateau de Nalys Grand Vin Blanc has a character all its own, with a strongly different varietal and plot composition, and like its red Saintes Pierres counterpart, a fermentation, and aging geared towards emphasizing freshness. The hallmark seamlessness of Guigal's white wines is especially evident in this wine, which is unlike any Chateauneuf white we have experienced in its grace and lift.