FRANCE ~ FERRATON Père & Fils
FERRATON Père & Fils: In 1946, winemaker Jean Orëns Ferraton, also the son of a winemaker, began his vineyard in the Rhône Valley of France. Jean’s son Michel became the next generation rooted in the same passion. Over time, Michel has used new vineyard innovations, to bring their growing methods into a more modern era. As a result, the first Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and Saint-Joseph Ferraton were brought into the world. And, in 1998, the vineyards were converted to organic viticulture, and then certified. For the winery, their staff, the vines, and the wines have created a camaraderie within Maison Ferraton Père & Fils, in their search for excellence.
Today, I have two of their wines that I’ve tasted, enjoyed, and I’d like to share with you.
2015 Ferraton Père & Fils Samorëns Rouge, Côtes du Rhône
- VINEYARD: The vineyards are on the left bank of the Rhone Valley. The soil is alluvial (the part of the earth’s surface consisting of humus and disintegrated rock) and gravely. Alluvium soil produces a vigorous growth, so there’s more tending to the vines, and consciously focusing on quality over quantity.
- WINEMAKING: The Samorëns Rouge is a blend of 85 percent Grenache, 10 percent Syrah, and five percent Cinsault. Traditionally, the family creates a blend from their estate vineyards and from a mixture of other selected vineyard fruit, which is available in the Northern reaches of Rhône Valley. This wine is true bargain at $14.
- WINE: The Grenache grape is of Spanish origin; the variety is lighter in color than most other red wines. This also means that flavors are not going to be as dense. Rather, they’re more like enjoying raspberry versus blackberries. Tannins were soft and allowed for a very smooth finish, even for a younger red. The Ferraton Père & Fils Samorëns Rouge is a very easy to enjoy wine… Appreciating it seemed like being given the day off on a Friday; an unexpected gift that created a long, lingering holiday of uncomplicated life. Ferraton Père & Fils made this wine with people like me in mind… people who enjoy non-complicated moments with foods and those wines to pair with simple pleasures.
- WINE & FOOD: Enjoy this wine with Plum-Glazed Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms, found on Yummly.com.
- VINEYARD: The fruit comes from a mixture of estate and neighboring vineyards in the Mercurol and Beaumont-Monteux districts, of central and southern Crozes-Hermitage. This season had the right mix of sun and rain. The soils are alluvial deposits with a lot of rounded pebbles, stones, and gravel.
- WINEMAKING: 2015 Ferraton Père & Fils La Matinière is 100 percent Syrah, and very European in character and style. The grapes were destemmed and made into wine in vats. Extraction was made by punching down and pumping over the cap that forms, during fermentation. It was then partly aged in oak barrels for 12 months to give it that smooth, polished finish.
- WINE: 2015 Ferraton Père & Fils Crozes-Hermitage La Matinière is a crowd pleaser. Syrah, when made well, is known to be rich and earthy. It is smooth and elegant, with a touch of spice and the deliciousness of a well defined Rhône. Down to earth delicious, for any food and wine pairing, the cherry aromas and flavors are in the Bing category, but the early ones we get first in a season. Not overpowering, it’s light and delicate, and a very delicious wine… reminding me of “Tidings of Comfort and Joy.” Think darker raspberries, yet, it’s still on the lighter red fruit side in character. And… it finishes with English saddle leather. It’s got the elegance and style of Audrey Hepburn, and a finish of Juliette Binoche… A little racy and freedom loving wine.
- WINE & FOOD: Cook with shallots, not onions… The sweetness of any glaze will be greatly complemented by this Syrah based wine. Think mushrooms along with its earthiness, and you’re on your way to foods demanding a lighter, red wine. Apricot-glazed Turkey with Roasted Onion and Shallot Gravy would be a great place to start, with stir fried mushrooms.