Château Ferrière 2015
• Domaine: Château Ferrière
• Appellation: Margaux
• Classification: Third Growth, 3ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
For those value-oriented customers who want to experience all the elegance a great Margaux wine has to offer without spending a pretty penny, Château Ferriere is a property worth noting. Château Ferriere was one of the more obscure Classified Growths in the Médoc, largely due to their decision to opt out of the négociant system for several years and sell their wines directly to French restaurants. Production was small, and there wasn’t a lot of wine to sell. This is starting to change, however. Under the leadership of the ambitious Claire Villars Lurton, Château Ferriere has turned around in quality and viticultural practices, making the Third Growth property a hidden gem for bargain hunters.
Château Ferriere was named after Gabrielle Ferriere during the second half of the 18th Century. Gabrielle was a courtier in Bordeaux in charge of shipping, and the estate has a legacy of several generations Ferrieres working in the shipping trade. Just after World War II, Château Ferriere leased their vineyards to Alexis Lichine of Château Prieure Lichine and Château Lascombes. The wines were made in the cellars of both properties until Château Ferriere was acquired by Bernadette Villars. Bernadette had a daughter, Claire Villars who was the granddaughter of Jaques Merlaut -- a member of one of the biggest negociants in Bordeaux, The Tallain Group. One of the more prestigious properties managed by the Tallain group is Château Gruaud Larose. Claire was studying in Paris to get her doctorate in physics and chemistry when tragedy struck, and her parents passed away in a hiking accident in the Pyrenees. She returned home to Château Ferriere and took over the family business of managing the estate.
The property started as a tiny 8 hectares and has now expanded to 24 hectares of vines. The walled-off vineyard sits directly in the heart of the village of Margaux. In the gravely, sandy soil that is typical of this appellation, the vineyards are planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Vines are almost 50 years of age on average, and the vineyard was 100% Organically Certified in 2015. Château Ferriere also acquired their Demeter Certification of biodynamic viticulture in 2018, demonstrating an impressive level of commitment to vineyard management. Since then, this property has grown from one of the greatest underachievers in the Médoc to an excellent value-driven wine.
The wines are fermented in temperature-controlled wood and concrete vats for about 20 days before spending time in barrel and bottle. Château Ferriere has entered the négociant market at last, and their wines are sold on a larger scale than ever before. Production here is so small that these wines do sell fast. Due to their smaller size, the property hasn’t achieved the international recognition of some of the larger Classified Growths with the production capabilities to support demand. Quality continues to increase, and the wines are known for their supple, elegant, silky finesse – making them a great option for any Bordeaux buyer on a budget.
"The 2015 Ferriere is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. It has a pure and well-defined bouquet with gorgeous red cherry and wild strawberry scents infused with minerals. The palate is well balanced with supple tannin, layers of slightly toasty red berry fruit with admirable depth on the finish. There is a bit of gumption and conviction about this Ferrière, and it should age with confidence once in bottle." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2020-2040
"An outstanding Margaux is the 2015 Château Ferrière which is roughly two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one-third Merlot (there are tiny amounts of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc). A deep ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by a slightly lifted, black and blue fruit, scorched earth and violet-scented 2015 that offers medium-bodied richness, bright acidity, and ripe tannin. The lifted, slightly volatile note gives me pause, but there’s plenty to like here and It should evolve gracefully for 15-20 years." Jeb Dunnuck, Let The Good Times Roll 2015 Bordeaux From The Bottle, (11/30/2017) Rating: 90
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