Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer Profiles – Coteaux du Vendômois  

Domaine Jean Martellière (1975)


Jasmine and Joël Martellière

The Marellières are the sole producer to exploit all three appellations of the Loir valley. The family itself has been in the region for centuries; five generations at least have inhabited the various houses they own in the hamlet of Fosse, situated just to the west of Montoire-sur-le-Loir. It was, however Jean Martellière, father of Joë, who bought vines from his brother in the Coteaux du Vendômois in 1975 to complete the domaine. For years, Jean senior’s wife ran the café ‘Le Paix’ on the main square in Montoire, and it was here that Joël was to meet his future wife. Françoise has been running the bar herself now for nearly thirty years (see dining section) and this modest restaurant has become the main shop window for the wines of the domaine. Joël and Françoise have two children; Jean-Vivien, who works with his father at the cellar in Fosse, and a daughter, Jasmine who has recently worked a stage at Mount Langhi Ghiran in Victoria. 

Wine Overview :
Today, their total vineyard holding extends to eleven hectares, plus one further hectare that is rented. The main production is centred in the Coteaux du Vendomôis with ten hectares of vines based on two main parcels situated on the slopes between Montoire and les Roches-L’Eveque, although they do have some access to other parcels on the south side of the river. Two thirds of the Vendômois grapes go for Vin de Pays production and as base wine for their growing market for sparkling gris, made solely with Pineau d’Aunis. The family bought a 1.5 hectare parcel in Sous-le-Bois in Jasnières in 1986 and proceeded to replant it with massale selected Chenin. They also have one third of a hectare of Pineau d’Aunis for the production of Coteaux du Loir rouge in the commune of Ruillé-sur-Loir, planted at the foot of the Sous-le-Bois vineyard.

The average age of the vines is now 30 years, although the oldest come from an eighty year old parcel of Pineau d’Aunis, planted above Montoire. Most of the harvest is conducted by machine, although their Vin de Pays Gamay is hand harvested to allow for carbonic maceration fermentation. Also, all the Pineau d’Aunis for the Coteaux du Loir is hand harvested as this too is whole bunch fermented. Occasionally, conditions exist for the production of sweeter style of Jasnières, which is then selected by triage.

In the cellar, chestnut was abandoned in the early 1980s and the wines are either fermented in small 50 hectolitre tanks, or where possible, in second hand barrels made of Jupille oak, sourced from producers of dry white Bordeaux . Only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation. 

The Wines :
These should be considered some of the best of the appellation, although the real quality lies more in their Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir wines (see separate entry under those appellations).

2007 Coteaux du Vendômois Gris
Polished. More onion skin appearance than pink. Light and clean nose. Bone dry. Quite high toned, but with good minerality and acidity. Spicy to finish. Good (12/08)

2006 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge ‘Réserve Jean-Vivien’
A blend of 55% Pineau d’Aunis with 40% Cabernet Franc and the balance from Pinot Noir. Raised in oak. Mid-pale showing some evolution to the appearance. Good graduation to rim. Slightly stalky one the nose and the wood shows a little. Fresh and juicy on the palate with ripe tannins and good length. Just a little too dry on the finish. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge ‘Réserve Jean-Vivien’
Mid depth ruby appearance with good graduation. This shows some herbal characters on the nose and is more Cabernet Franc like than Pineau d’Aunis. Light, clean and fresh on the palate, but still a little too green, especially for a 2005 vintage. Short on the finish. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge ‘Cuvée de la Possonnière’
Polished. Youthful red. Pink to the rim. Mid depth. Denser with some ‘organic’ whiffs. Peppery nose, but some evidence of brettanomyces to the palate along with some volatility. Grippy and quite bitter on the finish. (01/09)

2003 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge ‘Réserve Tradition’
Raised in oak. Dull, ruby appearance. Youthful to rim. No real sign of evolution as yet. Clean but quite closed on the nose. Well structured palate and shows greater ripeness. Less stalky and true to the vintage, but neither is it confit. Tannins are still quite grippy, but with good weight. The wood is well integrated. Still a bit tough and tannic and could do with a little more time. (12/08)

1989 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge
There is Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, along with Pineau d’Aunis and a little Pinot Noir. Bright. Mid full with some garnet hints. Very good mature graduation to the rim. This still shows some good fruit to the nose. Broad, and slightly smoky and savoury. Distinctly ‘organic’ nose, and the profile is more like a Cahors or other south west red. The palate is still dense and square and lacks real structure. There is still fruit on the palate, but the tannins are dry and noticeable. This might come good, but the tannins might outlive the fruit. Juicy acidity. (12/08)

1985 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge
Bright. Ruby centre with very good graduation. Mature nose; not unlike an old Bourgueil. A bit sawdust like on the nose (although that is a positive note). Still retains some black fruit, but the tertiary characters are starting to appear. Gentle and delicate on the palate. Elegant and refined. It still has a firm structure and is relatively tight. Mature, but no rush to drink. (12/08)

Domaine Jean Martellière
46 Rue de la Fosse
Fosse
Montoire-sur-Loir
T: + 33 2 54 85 16 91
P: + 33 6 08 99 94 15

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