En primeur

Offer for: 2020 Chapoutier & Ferraton

The class of 2020: Hand-crafted, single-vineyard wines from the Rhône valley and beyond

2020 Chapoutier and Ferraton

I’m delighted to offer a selection of 2020s from these two iconic and related producers. The ties between the two families go back many years and became even closer when, owing to an accident, Michel Chapoutier found himself heading both companies.  Having already converted much of his own vineyard portfolio to biodynamics, Michel did the same at Ferraton. Offering the two together in the first of our en primeur campaigns from the outstanding 2020 vintage in the Rhône makes perfect sense. 

Our main en primeur offering will be made early in 2022 and will include more wines from both Chapoutier and Ferraton. Here, we focus on their top single-vineyard wines, including four of Chapoutier’s iconic Ermitage plots and two excellent wines from his vineyards in Collioure.  Volumes are, of course, limited. As was the case last year, lockdown restrictions prevented me from travelling so barrel samples were sent to me instead, and these wines were tasted over a couple of days in early July.

This offer will close at midday on Thursday 23rd September.

Orders will then be entered into an allocation system and confirmations of successful orders will be sent out by Monday 27th September at the latest.

The wines will be delivered in spring 2023.

2020 is a great vintage throughout southern France in a style that could be described as more classically shaped than its two predecessors. It is also a most remarkable vintage that will live long in the memories of the vigneron, for of course, this was the year of the great lockdown. To quote Damien Brisset, winemaker at Ferraton: ‘Nature woke when the world went to sleep in isolation.’ Markets suddenly contracted or stopped altogether and travel became impossible. Wine fairs, apparently indispensable were all cancelled, one after the other. The one blessing was that work outdoors could still continue. Without other distractions, growers could, for once, invest all their energies in their vineyards and securing the harvest.  For Damien, 2020 was a seminal vintage. Never before had he been able to devote as much time to tending his vines, plot by plot, always at the right moment.

And for once, nature was on the side of the vigneron. Everything about the 2020 vintage was timely and even the heat spike in July and august was tempered by cool nights and cooler days. Perfection! 2020 is classed as a hot vintage and the harvest began in August. But the wines have freshness and a touch less alcohol than 2019, hence a more classical feel. They have balance, poise and well-integrated, ripe tannins. This is a lovely vintage to savour over many years.

Marcel Orford-Williams
Buyer for the Rhône

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