Weekend Feature Open for Tasting

Stunning Chateauneuf from our favourite producer

Domaine de Ferrand

Philippe Bravay is extremely dedicated to preserving the unique traditions and special characteristics that Châteauneuf brings to the world.  He took over the vineyard from his father Charles in 1995 and started using the Ferrand on the bottles again, something his father never did. But this was very important to Charles, especially as he is now grooming his son to take over the Domaine.

Domaine de Ferrand is small, with only 7.5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards half of which are 45 year-old vines and the other half an impressive 95 to 110 years old. Today they also have 9.5 hectares of Côtes-du-Rhône which is situated just outside of the Chateauneuf border, making it one of the best value wines we get. (in other words it tends to sell out within the first week)

Philippe uses organic growing techniques, limits yields strictly (his Côtes-du-Rhône is less than 2.5 tons to the acre yield, and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape even less) and vinifies traditionally in tank.  Philippe’s vinification philosophy and practice is the same for all his wines, “I do not use barriques because I want the wine of my vines and not a technical élevage which loses the origins of the wine. There is no filtration, only one fining for each wine. During the aging, the wine is neither racked nor blended, which is done only at the time of bottling and without the addition of preservatives.” In other words, he’s old school and wants his wines to do the talking. And they always do. 

2016 Domaine Ferrand Cotes du Rhone Mistral – Rhone Valley, France $23.95 
This is quite simply the most popular and delicious Cotes-du-Rhone we get – it’s Grenache in its most raw and pretty form. This is perfectly elegant wine that delivers amazing character and stunning value. The 2016 is my favourite version to date and one you won’t want to miss.  

2015 Domaine Ferrand Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes – Rhone Valley, France $27.95 
This is another “WOW” wine from Philippe. It tastes like a Chateauneuf with big, beefy, dark red fruit and wonderful Christmas-cake like aromas. There are wonderful earthy notes here with ripe, plumy fruit at the centre.  You’re going to love the texture here, like a velvet blanket working its way around your mouth. What a stellar buy for $28. 

2015 Domaine Ferrand Chateauneuf du Pape – Rhone Valley, France $59
While a lot of producers like to separate out their oldest vines and make a separate “super cuvee” Philippe does not believe in this practice. Instead he blends his vineyards and produces just one wine – and what a wine it is. We all know that 2015 is a great year, but you really need to taste this to get a true sense of how great. The balance is perfect, nothing sticks out. The wine wraps you up in its perfectly silky palate while you inhale the haunting aromas. It’s like a cherry pie served in the woods after a rain storm. Too many exotic smells to mention. Best to just come down and taste it yourself.

– Kevin McLean

Here’s what the fancy wine writer types are saying:

96 points – James Suckling
Distinctive for the bracken and peppery elements across wild red cherry and berry fruits. The palate has supple ripe raspberry and cherry flavors in gently grainy tannins that hold nobly. Exceptional purity and length. Drink from 2020.

95 points – Vinous
Brilliant ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented aromas of ripe red berries, cherry pit, potpourri and musky rhubarb, backed by a hint of Asian spices. Sweet, concentrated and seamless in texture, offering intense raspberry, cherry and lavender pastille flavors and a touch of licorice. Impressively suave and focused; a powerful jolt of candied flowers carries through the long, palate-staining finish.

94 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape is the normal blend of 90% Grenache and the balance Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Bourboulenc. It’s partly destemmed and aged 100% in concrete tanks. It’s a beautiful barrel sample that sports a deep ruby, semi-translucent color, as well as loads of sweet red and black fruits, garrigue, leafy herbs and licorice. Full-bodied, impeccably balanced and seamless, with ripe tannin, it’s a beauty. One of my favorite estates in Châteauneuf du Pape is unquestionably Philippe Bravey’s Domaine de Ferrand, which is located all in the northern part of the appellation. He makes a classic, traditional Châteauneuf du Pape and a handful of serious Côtes du Rhônes.