Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando

  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France
Domaine Saint Préfert / Isabel Ferrando
  • As I wrote last year, proprietress Isabel Ferrando continues to fashion some of the most profound wines on the planet, and her 2017s and 2018s are not going to change that trend. Looking at the wines, the estate is in the southern portion of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and covers roughly 55 acres, from which she releases five cuvées: two whites and three reds. For the reds, the classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape is always a rough blend of 90% Grenache (from 70-year-old vines) and the balance Syrah and Mourvèdre aged in demi-muids and smaller barrels. The Reserve Auguste Favier comes from 60- to 100-year-old vines and is based largely on Grenache with around 15% Cinsault, aged all in older barrels. This cuvée always shows a seamless, elegant profile. Lastly, and what I would consider her top wine, the Collection Charles Giraud is always a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, with the Grenache aged in tank and the Mourvèdre in demi-muids. I’ve also included her Châteauneuf-du-Pape Colombis cuvée here, which is released under the Isabel Ferrando label. It’s 100% Grenache from the sandy soils of the Colombis lieu-dit located on the western edge of the appellation. - Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, August 2019.

  • Isabel Ferrando deserves enormous credit for raising the quality and image of this estate. In many ways, she epitomizes the wines she crafts, showing great generosity and elegance on the outside, while possessing a strong will and great ambition. The 2018 vintage wasn't an easy one here, with crop losses reaching 50%. The highlight for me of this year's visit was a chance to look back at a couple of the wines from 2009. There's no doubt in my mind that the wines Ferrando is making now surpass what she was doing at that time, and she seems to agree. "In ten years, I've progressed. My sensitivity to the terroir is much more now," she said. - Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, August 2019.

  • Domaine St.-Préfert and Domaine Ferrando, the joint domaines owned by Isabel Ferrando, have become reference points for red and white Châteauneuf-du-Pape since they were founded.... " -James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, July 2014.

  • Hard work. Subtle tweaks. Responsible farming. An uncompromising dedication to quality. Isabel Ferrando keeps doing things the right way, and her wines are dramatic proof.” —James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

  • Proprietress Isabel Ferrando has taken her Saint Prefert estate to France’s highest level, and she’s unquestionably making some of the most profound wines on earth today, including both reds and whites.” —Jeb Dunnuck

Isabel Ferrando’s reputation for outstanding wines has grown every vintage since her first release in 2003.  She purchased Domaine Saint-Préfert from the Serre family, who was one of the first to estate-bottle in the appellation in the 1930’s; at that point, the domaine was 13.2 hectares, all in the Les Serres lieux-dit, south of the village of Châteauneuf.  In 2004, she purchased more land and started making the 100% Grenache cuvée Colombis, primarily from the lieux-dit of Colombis, with sandy soil; she bottles this wine as Domaine Isabel Ferrando.


Ferrando has always farmed organically and starting in 2019, the vines are being managed following biodynamic methods. She has very old vines in her holdings: the Grenache vines average more than 70 years old, and she still has some of the original Mourvèdre that was planted in the 1920’s. Throughout each parcel, all thirteen varieties are co-planted, something that Henri Bonneau told her is, “the beginning of the complexity [of her wines.]”  


There is not a secret formula here to making great wines. Ferrando has a young team and she is open to new ideas; she relies on tradition without being trapped by it. Starting in the 2009 vintage, Ferrando started working with whole-cluster fermentations (without added yeasts,) finding that it increased freshness in the wines and lowered alcohol, giving the wines vibrance.  Aging happens in a mix of concrete and 600L used barrels for up to 18 months. Year after year, the Saint Préfert wines continue to impress us with their finesse, elegance, and true terroir expression. 

Image Producer PRODUCT Description Country / Region

DB7354-18
Organic
93 JD, 92 WA
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2018
Grenache
From the youngest vines (30 years and younger) in the Serres lieux-dit, 85% Grenache, 5% Cinsault, 5% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre. 100% whole-... Read More
France

DB7354-19
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2019
Grenache
From the youngest vines (30 years and younger) in the Serres lieux-dit, 85% Grenache, 5% Cinsault, 5% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre. 100% whole-... Read More
France

DB7362-18
Organic
97 JD, 97 WA
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Colombis”
2018
Grenache
100% Grenache from three parcels: Colombis with a sandy soil, les Roues with a predominately clay soil, and le Cristia with a sandy soil.... Read More
France

DB7362-19
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Colombis”
2019
Grenache
100% Grenache from three parcels: Colombis with a sandy soil, les Roues with a predominately clay soil, and le Cristia with a sandy soil.... Read More
France

DB7359-18
Organic
97 WS, 95+ JD, 96 WA
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Charles Giraud"
2018
Grenache
The tête de cuvée of the domaine, made from the oldest vines in two parcels, les Serres and le Cristia. Les Serres is very warm... Read More
France

DB7359-19
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Charles Giraud"
2019
Grenache
The tête de cuvée of the domaine, made from the oldest vines in two parcels, les Serres and le Cristia. Les Serres is very warm... Read More
France

DB7351-19
Organic
94JD, 93WS, 91WA
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
2019
Clairette
A blend of 60% Clairette and 40% Roussanne from the Serres lieu-dit with galets stones, gravel, and blue clay. Aged for six months in large... Read More
France

DB7351-20
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
2020
Clairette
A blend of 60% Clairette and 40% Roussanne from the Serres lieu-dit with galets stones, gravel, and blue clay. Aged for six months in large... Read More
France

DB7353-18
Organic
98 JD, 93-95 WA
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Spéciale Vieilles Clairettes
2018
Clairette
Bottled exclusively in magnum. Ferrando began to make this wine in 2009 after sharing a bottle of 1947 Bonneau at a family meal... Read More
France

DB7353-19
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Spéciale Vieilles Clairettes
2019
Clairette
Bottled exclusively in magnum. Ferrando began to make this wine in 2009 after sharing a bottle of 1947 Bonneau at a family meal... Read More
France

DB7356-18
Organic
96 WS, 95 JD, 95 WA
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Auguste Favier
2018
Grenache
65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 5% Mourvèdre, from the Serres lieu-dit. 100% whole-cluster fermentation. Aged 18 months; the... Read More
France

DB7356-19
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Auguste Favier
2019
Grenache
65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 5% Mourvèdre, from the Serres lieu-dit. 100% whole-cluster fermentation. Aged 18 months; the... Read More
France

DB7368-18
Organic
98 WA, 95 WS
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape “F601”
2018
Cinsault
When I first became acquainted with Saint Prefert in 2003, the notion of terroir was just an abstraction, the soil from which the vines... Read More
France

DB7368-19
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Châteauneuf-du-Pape “F601”
2019
Cinsault
When I first became acquainted with Saint Prefert in 2003, the notion of terroir was just an abstraction, the soil from which the vines... Read More
France

DB7350-19
Organic
90WA, 90WS
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Côtes-du-Rhône "Clos Beatus Ille"
2019
Grenache
Beatus Ille is mostly Grenache blended with about 15% Cinsault from two parcels,  La Lionne, in the Sorgues district, just at the southern... Read More
France

DB7350-20
Organic
Saint Préfert/Isabel Ferrando Côtes-du-Rhône "Clos Beatus Ille"
2020
Grenache
Beatus Ille is mostly Grenache blended with about 15% Cinsault from two parcels,  La Lionne, in the Sorgues district, just at the southern... Read More
France