Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer profiles - Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir

Domaine Jean Martellière (1986)

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 alone 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 the Joël, who bought vines from his brother in the Coteaux du Vendômois in 1975 to create the domaine That exists today. For years, Jean senior’s wife ran the café ‘Le Paix’ on the main square in Montoire, and it was here that Joël junior 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 extend 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 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 wine is fermented either in small 50 hectolitre tanks, or where possible, 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 Coteaux du Vendômois appellation (see separate entry under Coteaux du Vendômois), although the real quality lies more in their Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir wines.

2006 Jasnières ‘Cuvée du Vert Galant’
The traditional sec. Raised for six months in 400 litre barrels. Polished with distinct green hints. Bone dry and austere. This smells and tastes like old fashioned Jasnières. Bitter and pithy on the finish and in need of time. Authentic. Lean and mineral. (12/08)

2006 Jasnières ‘Cuvée des Perrés’
Sec-tendre. Picked with a little botrytis in the berries. Takes its name after the large silex pebbles found in the vineyard. Polished. Pale with a distinct green appearance. Closed on the nose, but very clean. Nervous acidity on the palate, with green fruit – greengages and green apple. Rich on entry and shows a hint of residual sugar (just 6g/l). Very good focus. Tight and mineral, but with the generosity of the sugar. Approachable now, but would benefit from ageing. (12/08)

2005 Jasnières ‘Cuvée du Poète’ Moëlleux
Produced in 2003 and 2005 with the possibility of 2008 being released too. Polished. Pale straw appearance with hints of green. Open, rich and attractive nose. Rich on entry, but retains a taut and mineral acidity. Obvious residual sugar. Very good balance with a hint of oak on the finish. Approachable now, but deserves to be left to mature further. Delicate flavours of quince and pears. Great length. Very good. (12/08)

2003 Jasnières ‘Cuvée Nectar du Domaine’ Doux
Only produced in 2003. Unusual for the vintage, this is a botrytised wine. Polished. Green/yellow. Rich nose of baked apples and quince. This is still quite closed, but shows some faint ‘dry’ botrytis notes. Rich on entry, but still very fresh and delicate. Refined, citrus flavours to the palate. There is a great thread of acidity running through the wine. Builds well with a persistent finish. Elegant and refined and could be expected to age over several decades. (12/08)

1990 Jasnières ‘Cuvée de Première Trie’
Made without any botrytis. There is just 8g/l residual sugar with the resulting wine fermenting to 15.5% alcohol. Luminous appearance. Yellow/green. Lovely nose. Both tropical and herbal. Aromas of honey and gorse/coconut. Very delicate and refined. Dry, mineral entry. Powerful and shows the alcohol a little on the finish. This is still very youthful and hopefully the alcohol will be consumed within the wine as it ages. This could be expected to age for several more decades. Preserved by its acidity, alcohol and a hint of silex-like reduction. Excellent. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Loir Rouge
Dense and opaque appearance. Deep centre with ruby red colour, moving to a pinkish rim. Light and delicate nose with very good varietal definition. It shows a little hot, but is not baked. The nose is ripe and spicy and it smells a little like vin chaud. This is more black pepper than white on the palate, with gingerbread flavours; quite bizarre in a red wine. Fresh acidity, with good structure and length. Tannins are noticeable, but ripe and just need a little more time to soften. Very good potential. (12/08)

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

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