"Hard work. Subtle tweaks. Responsible farming. An uncompromising dedication to quality. Isabel Ferrando keeps doing things the right way, and her wines are dramatic proof.” —James Molesworth, WineSpectator
“Proprietress Isabel Ferrando has taken her Saint Prefert estate to France’s highest level, and she’s unquestionably making some of the most profound wines on earth today, including both reds and whites.”—Jeb Dunnuck
I keep getting asked about these wines and finally we can deliver. The delay is a few reasons: 1. The winery has a new name––now called Famille Isabael Ferrando––which has delayed the labels making. 2. The wines now have new names with no more Riserva or Augusta and, 3. Things are just delayed in general.
2020 Chateauneuf du Pape is considered a hell of a good vintage but regardless, wines from Ferrando can be exceptional if they were transported to Antarctica or Djibouti. She knows what she's doing and that is why she is my favorite Chateauneuf producer.
(Magnum) 2020 Saint Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape White Vielles Clairettes
100% Clairette Rose from 80-100 year-old vines in the Serres lieu-dit. Very low yields of 15hl/ha. Fermented and aged in a new barrel. Bottled without filtration. Ferrando began to make this wine in 2009 after sharing a bottle of 1947 Bonneau at a family meal with the Bonneau and Ferrando families. The bottle of 1947 was the last bottle that Henri Bonneau had that his father had made and it was a bottle of Vieilles Clairettes. The bottle was extraordinary and the next day Bonneau told Ferrando that she had the ability to make a wine of this quality from the rare, old-vine, pink clairette that is co-planted in her vineyards. The first year, Bonneau helped to do the vinification. The wine was very gently pressed and aged for 18 months in one new large barrel. Bonneau recommended to bottle in magnum because there is not enough for everyone, so when it’s opened, it’s for a special occasion. To this day, Ferrando's tradition is to always give the first bottle each vintage to the Bonneau family. Normally, only one 600 liter barrel is made per year.
JD 96-98: "Still not yet bottled, the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Spéciale Vieilles Clairettes is another thrilling white from this address. Pear, honeyed melon, pineapple, flowers, and hints of brioche all emerge on the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied, has remarkable purity of fruit, a rich yet still lively and fresh mouthfeel, and a great finish. Along with Beaucastel's Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, this cuvée is at the top of the appellation and is utterly world class."
2021 Saint Prefert Cotes du Rhone Beautus Ille
Beatus Ille is mostly Grenache blended with about 15% Cinsault from a parcel named, La Lionne, in the Sorgues district, just at the southern border of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and another parcel. It’s blended with a bit of Syrah from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s 100% destemmed and fermented and aged in cement tanks
WS 90 Points: "A generous yet elegant wine, with warm licorice and baked cherry amply dusted in white pepper and a hint of vanilla. Reveals refined tannins and racy acidity, which provide a ballast for the generous palate. Very harmonious. Grenache and Cinsault. Drink now through 2026. 2,150 cases made, 308 cases imported."
2020 Saint Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape
Probably wondering why this jumped in price by 75%? Here's why: This cuvee comes entirely from the Les Serres parcel and is primarily the fruit that used to make up the “Favier” and “Giraud” wines. 100% whole cluster made in demi-muids. 75% old-vine Grenache, 12% Cinsault, 11% Mourvedre, and 2% Syrah.
JD 98 Points+ :"Now the flagship of this estate, the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape is 75% Grenache and the rest Cinsault, Mourvedre, and a little Syrah. Sporting a deep ruby/purple hue, it offers a beautiful array of black raspberry and darker cherry fruit as well as lots of graphite, chalky minerality, Provençal garrigue, and spice. Beautiful on the palate as well, this medium to full-bodied effort has a layered, multi-dimensional mouthfeel, rock-solid underlying structure and concentration, building tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It needs to be forgotten for 2-4 years (although it certainly offers incredible pleasure even today) and will keep for two decades. Tasted twice."
2020 Saint Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape F601
From Isabella "It took me 16 years of observation and learning to develop a deep understanding and a personal relationship with my terroir, guided by instinct and feeling. With this vintage, I have launched “F601”, the pure and absolute expression of my experience with my parcel F601 of Saint Prefert and the old-vine Cinsault, planted in 1928, a singular and unique expression. At this point in my life, I am thrilled to share my enchantment for this remarquable wine.” - Isabel Ferrando; 100% old-vine Cinsault planted in 1928 made with whole clusters in one used demi-muid barrel. Very limited production and packaged in a special wooden box."
JD 96 Points: "The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape F601 is a rare release of 100% Cinsault that's brought up all in demi-muids. It's another expressive, already complex wine from this incredible team and offers fabulous black cherry and framboise-like fruits as well as spice box, dried flowers, garrigue, and sandalwood. It shows the charming, elegant, supple style of the vintage beautifully, has medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish."
2020 Saint Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape Colombis
JD 94-97 Points: "The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Colombis just about jumps out of the glass with its kirsch, ripe strawberry, wildflower, Provençal spice, and loamy earth-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a seamless, incredibly elegant mouthfeel, gorgeous tannins, and one great finish. It doesn’t have the sheer mid-palate depth of the 2007 or 2016 (but few wines do) and is already accessible and undeniably delicious. This brilliant Grenache will drink well for 15 years or more."