Domaine Ferme Saint-Martin
2008 'Les Terres Jaunes' Beaumes de Venise
Grenache Noir •Appellation Beaumes de Venise Controlee
France: Rhône Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Honor thy Grandfather
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of of an outstanding Rhône blend for our French wine-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Domaine Ferme Saint-Martin
Wine Subject: 2008 Beaumes de Venise “Les Terres Jaunes”
Winemaker: Thomas Jullien
Backgrounder: In the southern half of the Rhône Valley sits Beaumes de Venise, an appellation in the eastern central region of the southern part of the Rhône. The vinyards that surround the communes of Beaumes de Venise, Lafare, Suzette, and La Roque-Alric, all in the Vaucluse department , which is situated in the southeastern part of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The region sits at an altitude of between 100 to 600 metres. Roughly 100 growers and producers in the region turn out an annual production of more than 475,000 gallons of wine. Varieties that are blended to produce the red AOC are Grenache Noir (at a minimum of 50%), Syrah (at 25%), Mourvèdre and other varieties permitted by the appellation.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby hues with concentrated color out to the edge of the glass and through the slightly darker heart of the wine. Ultra-skinny legs march slowly down the glass after a good swirl.
Smell – Bold and earthy, but lead by spicy blackberry, black cherry and raspberry. These are well integrated with black pepper, soft spice and fresh herbal notes. After some time in the glass, a distinctly old world aroma emerges, reminding me of an ancient French wine cave.
Feel – Full-bodied and initially dry, this wine is smooth and somewhat firm on the front palate.
At the mid-palate, crushed velvet tannins add a plush feel that spreads a chalky mineral dryness to the corners of the mouth.
Taste – Lead by balanced red fruit of tart young strawberry, cherry and underripe blackberry, the flavors yield to earthy flavors of earthen plum, white minerals, black pepper and fresh herbs – with just the right amount of funk.
Finish – Clean and fresh, with lingering red fruit and a hint of spice. After the fruit dwindles, a refreshing fresh salad herb component makes a brief appearance.
Conclusion – The 2008 "Les Terres Jaunes is a delicious wine. As coincidence would have it, I was gifted a bottle of the 2007, just a few weeks back. I enjoyed the wine, but this 2008 is far more impressive. I really enjoyed how the bright fruits mingle harmoniously with the more rustic flavors. The wine is very approachable and very well balanced, delivering a drinking experience that is at once delicious and very interesting. Pair this wine as easily with red meat as with roast chicken. Decant for a more complex and interesting drinking experience. Cheers!
California winemakers are not the only ones that are busy crushing their grapes. Today’s French winemaker was too busy to participate in our customary interview. Stay tuned, though, as we’ll be sure to secure an interview with Thomas Jullien, during a future mission.
Wine Spies Commune Check:
The location of the Beaumes-de-Venise commune, in France, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Ruby red with an expressive, powerful nose, the pepper is very present as well as the spice. Good attack in mouth, to fruity dominating. To drink to 15°- 16° to accompany white and red meats.
The cuvée of Yellow Earths was born in 2000 after the different fragmented selections.
Vinification: Sort Grape-harvest, total égrappage, soaking of 15 to 20 days. Elevage sleeps it off some, put in bottles with a light sulfitage without filtration.
Terroir: It is the soil of the vineyard that dominates on the domain. This cuvée is one in its reflection that’s most striking. Yield of 35 to 38 hl /hectares.
Can be consumed young with a potential one of keeps of 5 to 8 years.
About The Winery:
The Ferme Saint-Martin vineyard is located in the small village of Suzette right at the top of the beaumes de Venise “appellation contrôlée "
The vineyard is in a privileged south facing spot at an altitude of 400 meters . The panorama is wonderful, from east to west, we see the Mont Ventoux, the high plateau of the Luberon, the Alpilles and the famous Dentelles de Montmirail rock range.
The vineyard covers 36 hectares of land – 23 planted with grape vines and one more hectare soon to be planted. The garrigue and Mediterranean woods cover the rest of the land.
The vineyard is divided up as such:
Beaumes de Venise Appellation Origine Contrôlée (AOC) Red: classified « cru » in 2005 for the villages of Suzette and La Roque Alric.
- Côtes du Ventoux AOC Red and Rose: 5 hectares in Le Barroux and Saint-Hippolyte Le Graveyron.
- Côtes du Rhône AOC Red and White: 3 hectares in Suzette
The land is completely ploughed. Growing grapes organically includes using farming methods that nurture the soil, air and water. Through the process of totally excluding the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, the vineyard has received the organic certification (by Qualité France SA).
In good climatic conditions the vineyard produces 100 000 bottles per year. The wine made from the younger vines is packaged in wine fountains.
The buildings on the farm are more ancient than the vineyard.
As a matter of fact, the room used today as the wine cellar used to be a chapel or church dating from the XIIth century. Archives must have been taken to the Vatican and thus, hardly available to consult today.
Our history, the one of the vineyard, begins in the fifties. At that time, the farm located on the ancient convent, was divided into two parts. Aimé and Yvonne Jullien, two young farmers, worked on one part of the farm. They bought the second half in October 1955. Back then, the farm covered 13 hectares in mixed farming, 5 hectares of grape vines and the rest of fruit trees: olive trees, apricot trees and cherry trees. There was no wine cellar. At the start of the winter of 1956, the weather was unusually warm. But then, in February, the temperatures dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius. The extreme cold and the frost were a catastrophe. Most of the olive trees did not survive the frost. The vines and apricot trees also froze: Aimé and Yvonne became disheartened.
Aimé who had previously made wine in his youth and who had tried again with his own grapes and barrels, hit upon the idea of replanting the orchards with grape vines, and a few years later, in 1964, a small wine cellar was developed. The first sales were made by word of mouth. Fernand Degouet, a printer and publisher in Paris , became Aimé’s good friend and first client. He created the label on the bottles of the vineyard (Cuvée Saint-Martin). For many yeras, at the end of his holidays in Provence , Fernand would leave Suzette with the boot of his Citroën DS full of bottles.
In 1970 the farm became a real vineyard. With 11 hectares of grape vines, Aimé created a wine cellar to develop the wine making process. The terroir of Suzette is particular. At the beginning the wine was labelled under a simple appellation. Then it became Côtes du Ventoux and Côtes du Rhône. Finally, in 1978, the appellation became Côtes du Rhône Village Beaumes de Venise.
In 1979 Aimé Jullien had health problems. Therefore he took the decision to let his 21 year old son Guy take over the management of the vineyard. However, Aimé remained at his side for over twenty years. After nearly ten years of farming Guy Jullien chose a more natural farming following his father’s steps (natural ploughing of the earth, sulphur and organic manure).The vineyard has been using fully organic methods from 1998.
In 1981 Guy and his wife Michèle took part in the first Wine and Wine Makers Exhibition in Paris on the Austerlitz Quay. For many years it was seen as a great event where wine lovers, cellarmen and restaurant owners would meet. During this period many wine bars opened in Paris: les Envierges with François Morel, Le Baratin with Rachel and Olivier, les Pipos with Jean-Michel Delhoume, Le Moulin à Vins with Dany. Guy spent improvised evenings tasting wines with other wine makers from all over France . It was then that Guy acquired a desire to produce natural wines.
In 1994, Guy extended the wine cellar. The grapes of each plot were fermented in separate tanks to maintain the integrity of each parcel. The specificity of the soil was really taken into account. In the same year, a new vintage was produced: Diapir (%100 trias soil). In the year 2000, it was followed by the Cuvée Terre Jaunes (trias soil) and the Cuvee Constanci (from vines on marl).
In 1999, the vineyard was extended through the purchase of 3 hectares of land Côtes du Ventoux Appellation. The place is called Les Estaillades in the village of Le Barroux . Then, five years later, in 2004 Guy and Thomas (still studying at the time) decide to buy some land in Saint-Hippolyte-le-Graveyron, the Cuvee La Gérine was produced.
In 2006 ,the new tasting cellar opened its doors in an old part of the farm. In the same year the new exhibition hall dedicated to happy gatherings and cultural events was inaugurated. Thomas, after his University studies in Business and oenology, and after several months of training in varied vineyards intends to work at the family vineyard. The Julliens’ passion for natural wines continues to grow and they wish to share it with you.
Varietals: 75% Grenache & 25% Syrah
Region: Appellation Beaumes de Venise Controlee