Rhone 2015: Ferraton Pere & Fils

This week we were treated to a tasting of the En Primeur Ferraton Père & Fils 2015s. Hailing from a “top quality” vintage and made under the watchful eye of Rhône legend Michel Chapoutier, these wines demand serious consideration…

Ferraton Pere & Fils 2015 Rhone Chapoutier

Ferraton Pere & Fils

Ferraton Père & Fils started in 1946 with just 0.3 hectares owned by Jean Orëns Ferraton and his father-in-law Jean Reverdy. The business was dramatically expanded by Jean’s dynamic son Michel Ferraton, who formed a new base by the river in Tain l’Hermitage. Ferraton Père & Fils are now one of the largest land owners on Hermitage Hill with around four hectares of forty year old vines, not to mention holdings in Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph (pictured above), Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Cornas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and more beyond, with old vines dating back to the company’s foundation in some cases.

Chapoutier Connection

Michel Ferraton, and son Samuel, enlisted the help of their friend and terroir expert Michel Chapoutier, when they converted to biodynamic farming in the late 1990s. Chapoutier had long respected their neighbour, describing  Ferraton Père & Fils as “one of the finest wine producing houses in Hermitage” – hugely significant praise from such a world-renowned winery. This lead to the pair forming a joint partnership. Now Ferraton Père & Fils work independently, but their ownership by Maison M. Chapoutier means they benefit from all the experience, expertise and financial input one of the world’s most famous and respected wine brands can offer. The Ferraton whites are actually made at the Chapoutier’s cellars, while the reds are made at home but very much in line with Chapoutier’s philosophy. And the eagle-eyed will notice that the “H” is dropped from Hermitage for Ferraton’s very top wines, a practice also observed by Chapoutier and Guigal.

Ferraton Pere & Fils Hermitage Ermitage Rhone 2015 Le Meal

Critical Acclaim

The result has been a further ramp-up in quality that has been met with plaudits from wine critics. Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider says: “starting with the 2009 vintage, all their wines showed a marked increase in quality.” He goes on to say that now Ferraton Père & Fils “are a winery producing some of the top wines in the Northern Rhône.”

In 2014 Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck said that “Falling under the Chapoutier umbrella, the quality at this tiny estate continues to soar. Readers looking for solid bang for the buck, as well as classic, textbook characters from each of the appellations, need to check out these wines.” The following year he enthused again: “As I wrote last year, the quality at this tiny Hermitage-based estate continues to increase in almost every vintage. Run by the team at Chapoutier since the early 2000s, they release a large number of cuvées (mostly négociant), yet their estate releases are made in tiny quantities, are all extremely high quality, and continue to represent screaming value.” We can probably expect more praise from Dunnuck for the 2015 vintage…

2015 Vintage

Jancis Robinson says that 2015 is “universally viewed as a vintage with top quality potential”, Decanter World Wine Awards judge Yohan Castaing reported “it does look as though 2015 will be a great vintage in the Rhône Valley“, Guigal claim to have “never seen a vintage like 2015″ and Chapoutier has called it “grandiose and exceptional” and suggested that these wines represent “the opportunity of a lifetime.” In a vintage such as this, wines with a pedigree like Ferraton Père & Fils, backed up by Maison M. Chapoutier, are sure to excel…

Ferraton Pere & Fils 2015 Rhone

The Wines

Although yet to be scored by the critics, having tasted some of them here at FINE+RARE’s London office, we fully expect these to follow the continuing rise of this outstanding producer. Click on the wine name to view or buy. Please note magnums are available in some cases.

red wine fine rare  Ermitage Le Meal 2015

Available in Spring 2018: “Very closed, suggesting a bright future ahead, with delicate nose of violets, black pepper and ripe dark berry fruits. Beautifully intense and rich on the palate, pristine black cherry ad wax notes combine to form a beautiful structure.” – F+R

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 93-95 points, 2013: 95 points, 2012: 95 points, 2011: 95 points, 2010: 96 points, 2009: 94+ points.

red wine fine rare  Ermitage Les Dionnieres 2015

Available in Spring 2018: Not tasted.

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 92-94 points, 2013: 92 points, 2012: 92+ points, 2011: 93+ points, 2010: 92+ points, 2009: 96 points.

red wine fine rare  Hermitage Les Miaux 2015

Available in Spring 2017: “Only around 5,000 bottles produced. Closed, smoky and brooding, it’s an exemplary young Hermitage with rich, ripe black berry fruit, violets and black pepper. Clean line of acidity running through adds structure and keeps freshness. Much darker fruit and a long finish.” – F+R

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 90-92 points, 2013: 89 points, 2012: 90 points, 2011: 91 points, 2010: 90-92 points, 2009: 90 points.

white wine fine fare  Ermitage Le Reverdy 2015

Available in Spring 2018: “Exceptional 50:50 blend of Marsanne and Rousanne. Blossom, white pepper and rich, ripe tropical fruits; tangerines and mango. Full-bodied with a creamy texture.” – F+R

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 94 points, 2013: 96 points, 2012: 94 points, 2011: 94 points, 2010: 96 points, 2009: 97 points.

white wine fine fare  Hermitage Les Miaux 2015

Available in Spring 2017: Not tasted.

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 94 points, 2013: 94 points, 2012: 93 points, 2011: 94 points, 2010: 96 points.

red wine fine rare  Cote-Rotie Lieu Dit Montmain 2015

Available in Spring 2017: Not tasted.

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 90-92 points, 2013: 94 points, 2012: 91 points, 2011: 91 points, 2010: 85-87 points.

red wine fine rare  Cornas Lieu Dit Les Eygats 2015

Available in Spring 2017: “15% stems in pressing for the 2015. A late maturing and expressive plot. Aromas of rosemary, pear and red forest berries. Ripe, big and bold, but still retains refreshing acidity on the palate.” – F+R

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 89-91 points, 2013: 91 points, 2012: 88 points, 2011: 91 points, 2010: 90+ points, 2009: 92+ points.

red wine fine rare  St Joseph Lieu Dit St Joseph 2015

Available in Spring 2018: Not tasted.

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 90-93 points, 2013: 92 points, 2012: 93 points, 2011: 92 points, 2010: 93 points, 2009: 91 points.

red wine fine rare  St Joseph Lieu Dit Paradis 2015

Available in Spring 2017: “Rich, ripe cherry, smoke, tar and fine grained tannins, excellent concentration and a long finish. A seductive wine.” – F+R

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 92-94 points, 2013: 92 points, 2012: 91+ points, 2010: 91-93 points.

white wine fine fare  St Joseph Lieu Dit Les Oliviers 2015

Available in Spring 2018: “50:50 blend of Roussanne and Marsanne. Buttery, smooth and well-rounded. ripe tropical fruits with a mineral note cutting through. Crystalline freshness and persistence on the palate. Touch of CO2, which Chapoutier calls the wine’s salt or seasoning.” – F+R

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 93 points, 2013: 90 points, 2012: 90 points, 2011: 95 points, 2010: 92 points, 2009: 95 points.

red wine fine rare  Crozes-Hermitage Le Grand Courtil 2015

Available in Spring 2018: Not tasted.

Previous Wine Advocate scores: 2014: 89-91 points, 2013: 91 points, 2012: 91 points, 2011: 91 points, 2010: 93 points, 2009: 93+ points.

 

View all Ferraton Père & Fils 2015 here.

View all Ferraton Père & Fils wines here.

View all Rhône 2015 here.