More than 10 years ago, Philippe Bravay took over the family domaine and dedicated himself to preserving the unique traditions and special characteristics that Chateauneuf brings to the world. The domaine is quite small, only 5 ½ hectares of which over half is on vines approaching 100 years old, all situated in the lieu-dit Ferrand. He uses organic growing techniques, limits yields strictly (his Côtes du Rhône yields less than 2 1/2 tons to the acre, and the Chateauneuf du Pape even less) and vinifies traditionally.
The Chateauneuf du Pape is 90% Grenache, the vines ranging in age from 60 to 100 years of age, and the balance the other twelve Chateauneuf varietals. From these he obtains superb natural ripeness, usually in excess of 14%. The vinification is traditional and the aging is for the most part in large oak foudre, but also a portion in barrique, but no new oak.
He produces a couple of Côtes du Rhônes as well. The 2007 Côtes du Rhône Cuvee Antique Vieilles Vignes was good, but wasn’t one of my favorites from the ’07 vintage. But I was really impressed with the 2006 La Ferrande. It is made from 100 percent Syrah. Nose of dark fruit with pepper, olive and earth. On the palate, more dark fruit with some bright notes of red fruit with tar and earthy notes. Dense and complex with impressive length on the finish. A very good bottle of wine at under $20 a bottle. 14% alcohol. Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. Recommended.
The Weygandt portfolio is impressive in terms of quality and diversity, and I am especially fond of the Côtes du Rhônes in his value — the quality is outstanding and the wines also offer a great value as well. They just announced an offer on their site for a 25% off a purchase when you sign up for the email list — they usually just send a weekly email detailing the Saturday tasting line up and any other special events or sales….to sign up go to http://www.weygandtwines.com/ and click “Join our email list” and you’ll receive the coupon in the confirmation email.
In my opinion, the following are a few of Weygants best Côtes du Rhônes from their portfolio:
Domaine Grand Nicolet
Domaine Les Grands Bois
Domaine Beau Mistral
Other Favorites from the 07 Côtes du Rhône Vintage
Domaine Gramenon Sierra du Sud
Domaine Gramenon La Sagesse Côtes du Rhône
Domaine Gramenon Les Laurentides Côtes du Rhône
Domaine Richaud Côtes du Rhône-Villages-Cairanne
Domaine Richaud Côtes du Rhône Terres de Galets
Escaravailles Côtes du Rhône