Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Who Makes Trader Joe's La Ferme Julien?


You may have seen two La Ferme Julien wines on sale at Trader Joe's at the enticing price of $5.99. At that price I purchased one of each and went home to research. The wines are produced by Famille Perrin, the same family that owns the famous Château de Beaucastel that produces Châteauneuf-du-Pape in southern Rhône. You may be familiar with estate since it is the co founder with Robert Haas of Paso Robles' Tablas Creek Vineyard.  In 1978 Jean Pierre Perrin and François Perrin took over management of the estate from their father Jacques Perrin and soon introduced La Vieille Ferme - an inexpensive Côtes du Rhône - that quickly became very popular. Look for the chicken on the label. Trade Joe's recognized this trend and contracted with Famille Perrin to create a private label version - the goat version.

The two wines are blends of four southern Rhône varieties. The grapes for the La Ferme Julien Blanc are sourced from the Côtes du Luberon and consist of Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, and Vermentino. Not exactly your household names. The wine starts with stone fruit aromas, leading to a citric flavor - both lemon and grapefruit. It starts nicely, but then falls flat at the finish because of a lack in acids and vibrancy. The La Ferme Julien Rouge is comprised of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault sourced from the Côtes de Ventoux. Both Ventoux and Luberon are located in the extremely southeast region of the Rhône leading to Provence. This is a simple wine, the term "rustic" is used quite often as a descriptor, and is very easy on the palette. Nothing exciting about either wine, but at $6, you get what you pay for.
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