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2018 Saint-Joseph La Source Blanc
Country: France France   Region: Rhone Valley    Sub-Region: Northern Rhone
Type: White   Style: Dry   Class: AOC
Drinking: 2021 - 2028

100 % Marsanne Slightly acid granite on the right bank of the Rhône on the foothills of the Massif Central. After pressing, the must is cold settled for 48 hours. Only the indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentation which occurs at temperatures ranging from 18 to 20°C. A small part of the wine is fermented in oak barrels, the rest remains in stainless steel vats. The two wines are blended before bottling in the spring following the harvest.

Producer: Domaine Ferraton Pere et Fils

Based in the heart of Tain l’Hermitage, Maison Ferraton was founded in 1946 by Jean-Orëns Ferraton, the scion of a family of vignerons with a small holding in Hermitage. His ambitions were cemented with the purchase of vineyards in Saint-Joseph. Expansion of the family business continued at pace under his son Michel, who during the 1960s increased the family holdings in Hermitage and bought vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage. In 1998, family friend Michel Chapoutier became involved in the business and this coincided with growing ambitions for Ferraton. Their own vineyards were converted to organic and biodynamic farming methods and they also introduced a negociant arm to the business, with grapes sourced from partner growers, to extend the house’s offering to include classic appellations from the length of the Rhône Valley.

Ferraton’s winemaker Damien Brisset has an approach to winemaking that is best described as a blend of the traditional and the modern. For fermentation, temperature-controlled cement vats play a major role, with a number of different sizes in use to enable small parcels to be vinified separately, allowing for greater expression of individual terroirs. Unlike stainless steel tanks, cement allows the exchange of air without imparting the pronounced oak flavours and tannins that come from wood. For the red wines, pre-fermentation maceration periods range from two to four weeks, depending on the wine. For the more delicate whites, malolactic fermentation is avoided to preserve freshness in the finished wines. All of the wines are bottled unfined.

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Varietal: Marsanne
  • Marsanne

    Marsanne is a white wine grape, most commonly found in the Northern Rhône region. It is often blended with Roussanne. In Savoie the grape is known as grosse roussette. Outside France it is also grown in Switzerland (where it is known as ermitage blanc or just ermitage), Spain (where it is known as Marsana), Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

Tasting Notes 1 Average Score: 93/100
Josh Raynolds
May 2020
93/100 2022 2029 Light, shimmering yellow. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh citrus and pit fruits and succulent flowers, along with a vibrant mineral overtone. Juicy and sharply delineated in the mouth, offering intense orange, pear nectar and honeysuckle flavors that deepen steadily through the back half. Smoothly combines power and delicacy and finishes on a building mineral note, showing impressive energy and persistence. Raised in an 85/15 combination of cement tanks and neutral demi-muids.