Domaine de Ferrand

VigneronPhilippe Bravay
LocationOrange (Vaucluse)
Size of Domaine17 ha
TerroirMediterranean climate, Mistral (northern wind) influence. Rhône quaternary terraces: sand, silt, clay-limestone, river pebbles (galets roulés). Gentle undulations around 100m altitude.
ViticultureOrganic in all senses other than certification.
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Domaine de Ferrand takes its name from its location in the cooler northern sector of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. Philippe Bravay took over a domaine owned by his family since the 19th century and bottled his first wine in 1997 breaking away from the négociant and other co-operative organisations to whom his forefathers used to sell.

Domaine de Ferrand owns some of the oldest grenache in the CNDP appellation planted in the lieu-dits of Les Garriguettes and Les Jaumes in 1904, 1910, 1920, together with two other lieu-dits Cabrières and La Gardiole where the vines are 45yo. Philippe also produces two excellent cuvées of Côtes-du-Rhône on lower-lying, sandy terraces of the Rhône – the more fruit-forward Mistral and the longer-lived Vieilles Vignes.

He puts a lot of thought and energy into his vineyards. Producing grapes with balance in the cauldron like conditions of the south, means that control of the maturity of the grapes becomes vital. In this work he is convinced of the need to bring organic matter into the vineyard and to prevent the demineralization of the soil by way of sheep or horse manure. His work is organic in all senses other than certification. He ploughs, uses interceps to control grass growth between the vines, controls oidium/mildew with copper and sulphur, and doesn’t trim the tips of vines.

Philippe destalks between 10 to 50% depending on the vintage, vinifies and ages in concrete tank, with no racking or blending and without the addition of sulphur (until bottling) to preserve freshness and terroir expression. Effervescent, hardworking and inquisitive, Philippe leaves no stone unturned in his work in the vines and cellar, making one of the finest examples of age-worthy old vine grenache in the world and despite all the plaudits (e.g. Wine Advocate) sticks to an incredibly reasonable pricing policy. A gentleman!

Domaine de Ferrand Wines

40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 10% Vaccarese
40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 10% Vaccarese (14.5% alc.)
(14.5% alc.)

Mistral refers to the local northern wind, it is made from young to 40yo vines located on sandy slopes between Châteauneuf and Orange, Philippe kept 20% whole bunches, and the much higher proportion of syrah opens up the wine and makes it perfect for drinking on the fruit. Cuve aged and bottled early in June the fruit is delectable – spicy cherry and raspberry with very silky tannins. Ideal wine for a barbecue or Sunday roast.

Vieilles Vignes
90% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Clairette
90% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Clairette (14.5% alc.)
(14.5% alc.)

50yo vines from the best CDR sites surrounding the Châteauneuf AC and the grapes are destalked at 60%. It offers violets and herbal notes on the nose, with attractive strawberry and mulberry fruit (very close to the fresh grapes), black olives, liquorice, cinnamon, and black pepper with good freshness. Fine grained tannins on a lifted finish – Côtes-du-Rhône from a good Châteauneuf estate is always a great bargain!

95% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre/Cinsault/Syrah
95% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre/Cinsault/Syrah (15% alc.)
(15% alc.)

Since 2010 Philippe has kept 50% of the whole bunches for the fermentation which helps to give a better framework for the wine and adds an extra note of spice and complexity. Made from 90yo vines planted on old rootstock that help to reduce vigour and give very limited yields (typically around 25hh), this is a dense, rich wine with real breadth of aromas and flavours, offering layers of raspberry and black cherry fruit, spice, liquorice, menthol and garrigue herbs, fine tannins and a long, mineral imbued finish. Though it can be enjoyed in its youth it will benefit from at least three years ageing. For drinking now to 2030.

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