JS96-97 There’s a lot to like here in 2018. Braval has made a very composed, innately balanced and beautifully drinkable Châteauneuf. The nose has attractive red and purple flowers and wild berries that run from red to black and a gently smoky, flinty edge. The palate has a sleek, supple feel, delivered so purely. The terroir has balance and finesse at Ferrand and Braval delivers it faithfully. This is a beautiful thing to taste and will be fine on release, though it will also age very well.
JD94 Tasting like Provence in a bottle, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape from Philippe Bravay boasts a medium ruby/purple color as well as an incredibly Provençal style in its kirsch liqueur, blackcurrant, lavender, peppery garrigue, new leather, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. Displaying medium to full-bodied richness, it has the vintage’s forward, seamless style front and center and backs it up with solid mid-palate depth, ripe tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s already drinking beautifully today, yet will easily evolve for another 10-15 years.
Philippe Bravay is extremely dedicated to preserving the unique traditions and special characteristics that Châteauneuf brings to the world. Domaine de Ferrand is considerably small with only 7.5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards spread over 6 parcels in 4 lieux dits, half of which are 45 year vines and half are 95 to 110 year old vines. They now also have 9.5Ha of Côtes-du-Rhône. He uses organic growing techniques, limits yields strictly (his Côtes-du-Rhône, even, is less than 2.5 tons to the acre yield, and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape even less) and vinifies traditionally in tank. Philippe’s vinification philosophy and practice is the same for all his wines, “I do not use barriques because I want the wine of my vines and not a technical élevage which loses the origins of the wine. There is no filtration, only one fining for each wine. During the aging, the wine is neither racked nor blended, which is done only at the time of bottling and without the addition of preservatives.”
Organic. 90% Grenache, 10% field blend. The 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape from Philippe Bravay at Domaine de Ferrand hails from his four vineyard parcels in the northern end of the appellation. Half of the vines are now forty-five years of age, and these are the young vines in the cuvée! The other half are now between ninety-five and one hundred and ten years old! The cépages is principally grenache, with ninety percent of the cuvée comprised of this grape and the other ten percent a field blend from the very, very old vine half of the cuvée. The wine is raised in a combination of cement vats and stainless steel tanks and sees no oak, with de-stemming decisions based on the style of the vintage.