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Rhône 2018 - Fine Northern Rhône wines

Ferraton Père et Fils - Tain L'Hermitage

Winemaker: Damien Brisset (technical director)

Vineyard: 15-17 hectares

Annual production: 85,000 bottles (excluding négociant activities)

Key points:

> Family house now part of Chapoutier but still fully independent

> 100% biodynamic vineyards since 1998

> Specialised in high end single vineyard wines from 11 of the most prestigious appellations in the Rhône valley including Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, etc.

Top wines: Saint Joseph Lieu dit Saint Joseph 2015, Ermitage Les Donnières 2012

Ferraton’s restaurant and tasting room directly on the banks of Tain-l’Hermitage

Ferraton was founded in 1946 and is a relatively small domain. It was bought over by Chapoutier in 1998. Since then, under the supervision of Damien Brisset, significant investment has been made. The vineyards moved to biodynamic viticulture and the winery in Tain l’Hermitage was modernised with new concrete tanks. The new entity, in line with Chapoutier’s vision, stays independent from the rest of the group and focuses on high-end wines from selected parcels. The range cover all of the finest terroirs with wines from Condrieu, Hermitage, Cote-Rotie, Châteauneuf du Pape, etc.

The Saint Joseph Lieu-dit Saint Joseph 2015 is made from Syrah harvested from 60+ year old vines on steep granitic slopes 250 metres high. The lieu-dit refers to the birthplace of the Saint Joseph appellation. The grapes are macerated for four weeks before fermentation and then aged in barriques (including 10% new) for a minimum of 12 months. The final wine is characterised by its pure crunchy fruits (ripe blackberries, violet, black cherries), black pepper and its long saline finish. The tannins are still tight and the wine will definitely benefit from at least couple of years bottle rest. 17/20

Les Donnières is a parcel of Sérine, now considered as the original strain of Syrah and deemed to produce fruitier wines than Syrah. The vines in the Donnières are younger (35+ years old), south-facing and planted in a calcareous soil. With age, the Ermitage Les Donnières 2012 is still fruity and spicy (black pepper) but has also developed complex aromas of mokka and leather. The wine is broad, rich, incredibly supple. The wine could still easily keep for another 10 years. 17.5/20




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