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Two Worthy Rhone Values from Ferraton Pere & Fils

slider-histoire-aujourdhui5Let’s look at a couple of red wines from the Rhone Valley in France, where there are a lot of grapes in play, and two distinct regions to talk about.  The northern Rhone red wines are made with Syrah, whereas in the southern Rhone Valley the Grenache grape takes a more important role, with Syrah and Mouvedre frequently joining the party.  In all there are about two dozen different grapes that can be used in the south, and you might see Cinsault and Carignan fairly frequently as well.  The wines in this article are from the northern portion of the Rhone, although the Cotes du Rhone we review below has a more “southern” blend.

Ferraton Père & Fils is an estate wine producer as well as a négociant, which means they also source grapes for a wide range of wines which originate throughout the Rhone Valley.  Both red and white wines are in their portfolio, and they produce about 350,000 bottles per year.  The big name appelations of the northern Rhone are represented, including Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, St-Joseph and Cornas.  Further south they make wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Côtes du Rhone.  The range also runs from lower priced, value driven wines to the rare, under 200 case production Ermitage Le Méal.

The house was founded in 1946 by Jean Orën Ferraton, with a rather modest 3/4 acre plot in Hermitage, in the north.  Some of the original vines are still producing fruit today.  Additional estate vineyards were added in the 1960s and 1970s, in Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph.  Tradition in the Rhone has been to blend from various vineyards, and the Ferraton brand still follows that approach.  Ferraton was purchased in 2004 by Michel Chapoutier, who has maintained the independence and integrity of Ferraton, where current winemaking and management fall to Damien Brisset.

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We have two wines from Ferraton Père  Fils to review.  First, a Cotes du Rhone:

Wine:  2015 Ferraton Père & Fils Cotes du Rhone “Samorëns”      Ferraton Cotes du Rhone                                                           

Winery Location:   Rhone Valley, France

Tasted By:  Neil & Cheri                      Date:  October 2017

Tasting Notes: a dark red wine with some purple highlights, this has an earthy, savory nose filled with dark fruits.  There’s a little menthol as well.  On the palate a strong herbal quality comes through, as well as the savory notes and a noticeable leather component.  It is full bodied, and holds up throughout very well.  Medium tannins frame a long finish.  Overall this has a bit of a rustic quality, and is a great wine to pair with a grilled steak. 

Price Point –    $14

Would We Buy It?    Yes.  it is a good value at this price point.  This is not an elegant and refined wine, but it has a lot of character.

And now something really special:

Ferraton CrozesWine:  2015 Ferraton Père & Fils Crozes-Hermitage “La Matiniere”

Winery Location:   Northern Rhone Valley, France

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                  Date: October 2017 

Tasting Notes:   also dark purple red, this is 100% Syrah and has a huge nose of dark fruit, with black plum and blackberry.  There is spice, a little smoke and some savory notes.  A nice, rich entry frames the wine, and this stays full bodied and fleshy.  While rich it is still fresh, as there is a good acid component keeping everything balanced.  The tannins are firm, build a little at the back, but are very approachable.  It finishes very long.  After a day on the kitchen counter this was even better.  Very high quality and super delicious.

Price Point –    $23

Would We Buy It?    absolutely.  This is a steal at $23, and drinks like a much more expensive northern Rhone wine.  Value List material for certain, and will be added to the consideration for the Top 25 of the year coming out in a few months.  This is a good bottle of wine.

We are officially impressed with the two wines from Ferraton, especially the Crozes-Hermitage La Matiniere.  We would assume that the rest of their line is of the same quality, and in the same value range, so look for this producer.  To learn more about their wines and their history you can visit their website at: http://www.ferraton.fr/default_gb.cfm.

Buy the Crozes-Hermitage La Matiniere if you see it.  Great juice, especially for the price.

A votre santé!

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