Domaine de Ferrand Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The Wine Advocate - "An amazing effort, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape eclipses what I wrote about it last year. Every time I went back to it, the wine revealed more nuances as well as greater depth. Full-bodied and powerful, it exhibits a compelling bouquet of creme de cassis, ground pepper, incense, seaweed, garrigue, and licorice. The knock-out aromatics are followed by a wine with colossal richness, a multilayered texture, no sense of heaviness, an incredibly deep, penetrating palate feel, and a finish that goes on for 50+ seconds. Philippe Bravay is one of the most modest and serious Chateauneuf du Pape vignerons, and it is a thrill to see him hit a home run in this vintage. For statisticians, it is made from 80- to 85+-year-old vines from two of the great sectors of Chateauneuf du Pape, La Gardiole and Cabrieres. It is composed of 90% Grenache and the rest Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Moreover, it is the quintessential traditional Chateauneuf du Pape aged 12-14 months in tank before being bottled without filtration. The dense purple-colored 2007 will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age, and last for 20-25 years. Bravo! "
Wine Spectator - "This is seriously dark, with bittersweet chocolate, braised beef, fig, tar and ground espresso notes leading the charge, while dark plum and currant fruit wait in the background. Cuts a broad swath on the muscular finish. Very backward, with a ways to go, this has harnessed more grip than most in this vintage. Best from 2010 through 2030. 1,515 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Expressive aromas of raspberry, cherry, blood orange and dried flowers, with an undertone of zesty spices. Very fresh and incisive red fruit flavors are complemented by sweet lavender and rose pastille, and pick up a peppery nuance with air. Impressively balanced, pure wine with a strong finishing jolt of red berry skin. I underestimated this wine from barrel."
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Domaine de Ferrand Winery
Young Philippe Bravay, whom Robert Parker in Issue 131 of The Wine Advocate say "is unquestionable one of Chateauneuf du Pape’s up and coming stars" and is now taking over the family domaine. He is extremely dedicated to preserving the unique traditions and special characteristics that Chateauneuf brings to the world. The domaine is tiny, only 5 ½ hectares of which over half is on vines approaching 100 years old, all situated in the lieu-dit Ferrand. He uses organic growing techniques, limits yields strictly (his Cotes du Rhone, even, is less than 2 1/2 tons to the acre yields, and the Chateauneuf du Pape even less) and vinifies traditionally.
The Cotes du Rhone vines were planted between 1933 and 1946, and consist of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Cinsault. It is, again as Mr. Parker states "a beautiful example of how much flavor, character, and complexity can be packed into a Cotes du Rhone".
The Chateauneuf du Pape is 90% Grenache, the vines ranging in age from 60 to 100 years of age, and the balance the other twelve Chateauneuf varietals. From these he obtains superb natural ripeness, usually in excess of 14%. The vinification is traditional and the aging is for the most part in large oak foudre, but also a portion in barrique, however no new oak. View all Domaine de Ferrand Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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