Château de Nalys
Saintes Pierres de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2020
Translated as “holy stones”, a play on the soils and history of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the second white wine to Château de Nalys 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 Châteauneuf white we have experienced in its grace and lift. The beautifully balanced freshness and fleshiness, prominent floral and citrus notes, a complete wine. 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 30% from the Nalys vineyard,25% from La Crau, and 30% from Bois Senechal and 15 from Le Piedlong. The vines average 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 40% Roussanne, 40% Grenache Blanc, 18% Clairette, 2% Picpoul & Picardan. All 13 permitted Châteauneuf grapes are planted on all 4 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 and aging in stainless steel and 70% in barrels and demi muids for 8 months.
2020 is another excellent vintage for the Rhône Valley. Another dry spring was followed by a moderate summer featuring, this time without the extreme heat spikes of 2019. Harvest occurred early – particularly for whites and Rosés – but the weather was even and temperate throughout. The grapes were ripe and concentrated with superb natural acidity – superb raw materials for exceptional wines. The wines are rich, balanced, and expressive.
Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Picardan, Roussanne
Vineyards are farmed organically, awaiting certification.
Suggested Retail Price
"Sappy herb and mineral nuances"
Jeb Dunnuck - September 21, 2022
"The fresher, more vibrant white from this team is the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Saintes Pierres De Nalys Blanc, and it does well in 2020, offering pretty pear and citrus fruits, some floral nuances, medium to full body, and a solid spine of acidity that carries through the finish. It's a vibrant, crisp, yet also lengthy white that will evolve for a decade or so." - J.D 12/22
Chateau de Nalys Saintes Pierres de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2020 Tech Sheet
Added September 21, 2022 -
Château de Nalys Saintes Pierres de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2020 Shelf Talker
Added September 22, 2022 -
Château de Nalys Saintes Pierres de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Bottle Shot
Added December 6, 2018 -
Saintes Pierres de Nalys Blanc
August 16, 2019 - This informational video demonstrates the various geographical location of Saintes Pierres de Nalys Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc vineyards.
Other Wines by this Producer
Saintes Pierres de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape
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.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grand Vin Blanc
Guigal’s mastery of growing and producing white wine varieties in the Rhone 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.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grand Vin
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.