Château de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grand Vin 2017

Pale gold color; white flowers, vanilla, peach, citrus on the aromatic nose; pineapple, Meyer lemon, yellow plum, beeswax on the palate.

Château de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grand Vin 2017

Dry; silky in the mouth; elegant. Medium-full body. Bright acidity. Slight note of oak from 70% aging eight months in barrels; remaining in stainless steel. Blend of 43% roussanne; 33% grenache blanc; 15% clairette; 6% bourboulenc; 3% picpoul. Pleasingly balanced with good depth and complexity. Long finish that delivers saline notes—likely from the picpoul; 14% ABV.

This is E. Guigal’s first effort from this château. The Guigals purchased Domaine de Nalys following the 2016 harvest and renamed it Château de Nalys. This vintage was the first time the team was able to make wine start-to-finish. There are two tiers. The Saintes Pierres de Nalys offer immediate drinkability and less concentration. The Grand Vin delivers more concentration and complexity.

Château de Nalys vineyard and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Guigal notes “we didn’t buy a name, a brand, we brought property.” The property includes three different terroirs. 36% of the grapes came from Nalys—fine red sandstone and sandy clay, with some limestone and soft sandstone. 27% came from La Crau— Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s famous galets, large, round pebbles from the Rhône River. 37% from Bois Senechal—slightly smaller galets and sandier, less structured soils than La Crau. The average age of the vines is 45 years. All work in the vineyards is 100% organic.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a prime wine region in the southern Rhône. The name means “new castle of the Pope,” a reference to the time the Roman Catholic pope lived in the castle near Avignon from 1309 to 1376. Seven successive popes lived in the castle, which overlooks the AVA.

Marcel and Phillipe Guigal

E. Guigal was founded by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis, the village in the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation in the northern Rhône. Etienne’s son, Marcel, took over management of the operation in 1961 when Etienne suddenly was struck with total blindness. Marcel’s wife, Bernadette joined the team in 1973, and today their son, Phillipe, is the winemaker working alongside his wife, Eve.

In 1995, E. Guigal acquired the famed Château d’Ampuis, a landmark in the Côte-Rôtie. It houses the business offices today while wine making and cellaring remain in the village of Ampuis. Château de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grand Vin 2017 was made at their newly acquired Château de Nalys.

While only 2% of Rhône wine production is white grapes, 25% of E. Guigal production is white, and they are masters at white—and reds and rosé, too, for that matter. Never hesitate to buy an E. Guigal effort.

Château de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grand Vin 2017 is a sophisticated, elegant effort from the Rhône masters. They bring the skill and attention to detail that they justifiably are famous for in the northern Rhône to this new acquisition in the hallowed Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC in the southern Rhône. Pair with fish, seafood; crab; lobster; bouillabaisse; orange chicken; grilled and roast chicken; pork chop with apricot sauce; Asian cuisine; aged goat cheese and many different hard and soft cheeses. $85-105

Château de Nalys website with good videos

Guigal website

U.S. importer website

Bernadette and Eve Guigal
Château d’Ampuis—E. Guigal headquarters
Harvest at Château de Nalys
Harvest at Château de Nalys
Château de Nalys vineyard
Château de Nalys vineyard
Entrance to Château de Nalys
E. Guigal barrel room
E. Guigal tasting room
Etienne Guigal