Chateau de Nalys Chateauneuf du Pape Grand Vin 2018
(Southern Rhone, France) - [WE 97] [WS 95 #10 OF '21] [W&S 95] [JS 94] [JD 94] [VM 94] [WA 93]
Regular price $130.00 Sale price $117.97 Save $12.03
The realization of the Guigal family’s dream of Châteauneuf-du-Pape: three extraordinary vineyards coming together in an intensely expressive, utterly complete wine. The Grand Vin defines the estate style with a precision of fruit, spice and minerality and notably, a beautifully composed structure that unfolds and builds (and builds).
As with all the Nalys wines, the Grand Vin is produced from all three vineyards, but notably 50% of the blend comes from La Crau, which lends the intense structure. The wine is primarily intense old vine Grenache, with a large portion of Syrah, and then additions of several other varieties, including most of the estate’s Mourvedre.
The composition is 27% from the Nalys vineyard, 50% from La Crau, and 23% from Bois Senechal, from vines averaging 45 years of age, with the typically low yields of Châteauneuf-du-Pape of 35 hl/ha. The grape varietal composition is 59% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, 3% Counoise, and 1% Vacarese. 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 harvesting and sorting was followed by vinification in conical wooden vats, with fermentation lasting around 4 weeks. The wine was then aged for 18 months, of which 30% was in wood (barrels and foudres) and 70% in concrete.
Ratings & Reviews
97 Points - Wine Enthusiast:
"The flagship wine of de Nalys sourced from the famed La Crau vineyard, this powerful, complex red highlights Grenache augmented by Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Vacarèse. Matured partially in oak, it offers black-plum flavors muted by shades of earth, sun-scorched garrigue and a lingering vein of salty minerality. While soft in tannin, the wine needs time to tease out its smoky, stony nuances. Drink 2028–2040."
95 Points, #10 Top 100 of '21 - Wine Spectator:
"A bright savory note leads off this red, followed quickly by sanguine and bay leaf accents, all melding nicely with the core of steeped blackberry, raspberry and plum fruit flavors as they move through the rich, licorice root–tinged finish. Best from 2022 through 2035.” -JM (Dec 15, 2021)
95 Points - Wine & Spirits:
"This is the first vintage of Nalys that Philippe Guigal saw through from budbreak to bottling, after having purchased the estate in July 2017. He blends it from all the estate’s vineyards—the sandstone-clay of Nalys; the high, sandy, alluvial plateau of Bois Sénéchal; and the galet-covered La Crau, which makes up 50 percent of this blend. Fermented in oak vats, then aged 18 months in oak (30 percent) and concrete, it’s a regal, elegant Châteauneuf, plush in texture and alluring in its scents of wood, berries and earth. The interplay of tart and sweet fruit gives the wine lift and movement and echoes the dichotomy of brisk acidity and firm tannins. You could decant this now, enjoying its fresh elegance with a steak dinner, or wait another decade to see what details time will bring." (10/2021)
94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
“The 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Grand Vin is a brilliant wine in the vintage and offers a smorgasbord-like array of black raspberry and darker cherry fruits as well as orange blossom, candied violets, and peppery garrigue. Full-bodied and concentrated, with ripe, sweet tannins, it has the vintage's forward, fruit-loaded, undeniably delicious profile front and center.” (8/22)
94 Points - James Suckling:
"Aromas of blackberry, cocoa, black cherry and a hint of cedar. Full-bodied with slightly chewy tannins. Tannins and fruit are very nicely integrated with real composure and structure. Focused and succinct. Coffee and plum. This will age very nicely. 59% grenache, 32% syrah, 5% mourvedre, 3% counoise, 1% vacarese. Drink or hold." (Sep 6 2022)
94 Points - Vinous:
"Deep ruby. Red and blue fruit, garrigue, pungent floral and exotic spice aromas show fine definition and mineral lift. Juicy black raspberry, boysenberry and candied lavender flavors deepen through the back half, with no loss of energy. Closes with emphatic, spicy thrust on the penetrating finish, which features even tannins and resonating floral and blue fruit notes." -JR (10/2021)
93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"The full-bodied 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grand Vin delivers plenty of bold raspberry and blueberry notes. It's almost creamy across the mid-palate but turns a bit more open-knit and coarser-textured on the lingering finish. Still, it's a delicious effort, well worth drinking."