Monday, July 28, 2008

Cotes du Ventoux La Ferme Julien, 2006

Is Julien's Farm the same as the Old Farm? Or is it the place next door? Either way, this is a very good wine.

I've seen La Ferme Julien several times at Trader Joe's and assumed it was merely another name for an old favorite, La Vieille Ferme. The label is almost identical except for the names and a drawing of a goat rather than a chicken on the front label. The blend is the same: 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan and 15% Cinsault.

Deep, dark color. Deep scents of berries, spice and pepper. Smells like LVF. And it tastes like LVF. Full bodied, big for a fruit-oriented wine, more like Font-Sane than Grand Prieur. Lots of bright fruit, spice and garrigue. An exciting wine right now but I'm looking forward to the mellow pleasures it will give in about six months.

It looks like LVF, smells like LVF and tastes like LVF. La Vieille Ferme--red, white and rose--is selling for $6.99 at Sawall's Health Food store in Kalamazoo. If you live close to a Trader's Joe's, you can buy La Ferme Julien for $5.99. Whatever the label, whatever the price, it's a wine to buy and enjoy.


  1. Not sure if it's the same as LVF but I picked up a 2007 La Ferme Julien Cotes du Luberon (bourboulenc 30% grenach blanc 30% ugni blanc 30% rousanne 10%) at Trader Joes in Ann Arbor a couple weeks ago (9/12/08) and it is fabulous! I cannot remember the price. Next opportunity, I am purchasing a case!

  2. I'm sure the price for the blanc is the same as that for the rouge: $5.99. That's a dollar or two cheaper than the LVF at most stores. But there's no case discount at Trader Joe's.

    All three of these--red, white and rose--are fantastic wines for the price.

  3. LVF is owned by the Beaucastel family of Ch. Beaucastel, while La Ferme Julien is owned by the Perrin family. LVF is also a biodynamic wine, but I am not sure about La Ferme Julien.

  4. Actually, Joel, Beaucastel is owned and run by Jean Pierre and Francois Perrin. They also produce LVF and wines with the Perrin label.

    Two Perrin brothers also got into the wine business recently, and they might be responsible for La Ferme Julien. Or it might be a neighboring property of LVF.

    All of the Perrin wines are biodynamique (organic).

  5. Just came across this/your blog... very cool! Thanks for doing this!

    Re: LVF vs. LFJ, I can't really tell the difference either (but haven't had much LFJ). Not as many people give LFJ as good a rating as they do LVF online.

    Also, are the Perrin wines really organic? I would think it would say so on each bottle, as they pay a lot (in time and money) for the certification. And, don't forget that "biodynamic" is quite different from "biodynamique," which means organic in French.

  6. That's an interesting point, Steve. I have always assumed the Perrin wines are all organic but all I can find to confirm that are statements: 1) that the late Jacques Perrin believed strongly that grapes should be all organic and that organic procedures should be followed in the vineyards, 2) that the Perrin brothers believe that the more natural and organic the produce the better the wine, 3) that Beaucastel's vineyards are organic.

    My feeling is that the Perrin brothers still follow organic principles for all of their wines but that they don't bother to advertise it on their labels because they are well enough known in this regard.

    As for the difference between "biodynamic" and "biodynamique," I always assumed they were the same. What is the difference?

  7. I enjoyed a French wine that was purchased today at Trader Joe's. It was La Ferme Julien blanc 2008, Cote du Luberon. It was a delightful, easy sipping white wine; combination of 30% Bourboufenc, 30% Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc 30%, and Rousasane 10% It cost less than $10, and is soooo much better than any CWW (cheap white wine) made from America, or Australia!
    This wine will be my personal, white "house wine" or like we say in France..."mon vin du maison"... Sante!