Domaine Isabel Ferrando, Chateauneuf du Pape, Colombis 2004
Isabel was previously a banker with Credit Agricole, and only purchased her 15 hectares of vineyard in 2003 (initially 13.2 hectares, but subsequently two more have been added), which was her first vintage. Prior to becoming a winegrower she gained experience with a number of winemakers, citing Henri Bonneau as her biggest influence. ‘Prefer my wines to be elegant and feminine, like those of Bonneau’, she reveals. ‘He’s the most intelligent in the vineyards and the cellar: he doesn’t interfere much, but he understands’.
Taking on the domaine in 2003, Isabel didn’t have time to do anything differently in the vineyards with this vintages, but in subsequent vintages she has worked organically and even biodynamically, although she isn’t certified. In terms of wine quality, she’s hit the ground running. I’ll stick my neck out: these wines are right at the top of the appellation, and can sit with the best.
The wine is 100% old vine Grenache made from grapes ranging from 65-100 years of age. 2004 was the debut vintage. Crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. Rustic nose of red fruits, iron, blood and wet stones. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Concentrated and power in a way that belies fourteen years of bottle age. Kirsch, garrigue, creme de cassis and herbes de Provence on the palate. Good length on the finish. Really nice showing for a CdP from the unheralded ’04 vintage.