The Cuvée des Cadettes was entirely aged in new barrels. This 2003 vintage of Château La Nerthe is sumptuous. Its thick ruby red robe has brick-red glints. On the nose, this wine expresses a complex bouquet of blackcurrant and blackberry with woody hints and a nice minerality. On the palate, it is round and thick with firm tannins offering this Châteauneuf-du-Pape a great power. It is ready to drink to fully enjoy its complexity and aromatic palette.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The luxury cuvee, the Cuvee des Cadettes, is the only Chateauneuf du Pape completely aged in 100% new oak, a la many Bordeaux and Burgundies. The 2003 is an outstanding wine but somewhat of a letdown after what I tasted from cask. A 1,000+-case blend of 47% Grenache, 36% Syrah, and the rest Mourvedre, the wine has a deep purple color, a sweet nose of graphite, toasty new oak, cassis, and black fruits. In the mouth, it is medium to full-bodied, revealing more rugged tannin than it did last year as well as aggressive new oak. Nevertheless, there is impressive concentration, but the 2003 is not up to the level of the brilliant 2001 or 1998, the two finest Cuvees des Cadettes I have tasted. In short, it seems to have tightened up and taken on a far more tannic personality than it had last year. Anticipated maturity: now-2014.