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New Producer Alert! The Farm of Seven Moons

New Producer from the Northern Rhône: La Ferme des Sept Lunes

Letter from Andy Pates:
A few years ago, friend and colleague Doug Polaner introduced us to La Ferme des Sept Lunes by sharing some bottles and knowledge. If you know Doug, this is a common occurrence. I found the Sept Lunes wines to be singular, energetic and alive. They are undeniably Northern Rhone, but not as weighty, polished, or fancy as expected from years of emotional wine baggage. I was immediately attracted to the freshness and friendliness of the wines as well as the start of a lively evolved secondary.

This past January in France I was able to meet and taste with Jean Delobre of La Ferme des Sept Lunes and secure a small allocation for Illinois. Thank you Doug and Jean for such an honor to be in collaboration. These wines have recently arrived and are available for purchase. Reach out to your Cream sales representative for availability and tasting.

Cheers!
Andy


FermedesSeptLunes_Jean.jpg Founded in 1984, third generation Jean Delobre is the current proprietor and vigneron of his family farm La Ferme des Sept Lunes (The Farm of Seven Moons). Sept Lunes is located in the hilltop village of Bogy, between Vienne and Valence, and is one of the highest estates in Saint-Joseph (about 1,150 feet above the valley floor), which exposes it to cool winds. Polyculture is practiced to create a harmonious environment for the plants to thrive naturally. The biodiversity is truly majestic; wildflowers, grasses, and fruit trees grow in and around the vines. Meadows and grains fill several hectares on the property. The land is biodynamically farmed; conversion took place back in 1997.

Jean owns 30 hectares of which only about 7-10 hectares are planted to the grapes Syrah (50%), Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, and Gamay. The vines range in age and composition. The soil is primarily granite. The wines are designated Saint-Joseph AOC (Syrah for red and Roussanne/Marsanne for white) as well as Vin de France. Each wine is site specific; parcels are vinified separately in an effort to capture the individual characteristics of each terroir.

Patience is key in the cellar. Jean Delobre allows the wines to evolve at their own pace. After the grapes are harvested by hand with careful sorting, they ferment spontaneously with wild yeast. Various fermentation and aging vessels are used. There is no new oak. Transparency of flavors and terroir is Jean’s goal. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally. No additives are used with one exception; a low amount of sulfites are added at bottling only when it’s absolutely unavoidable.

The result? La Ferme des Sept Lunes wines have incredible energy, freshness, and depth of flavor that have earned the farm a cult following. The high elevation helps provide acidity and freshness to the wines. The natural winemaking creates texture and tension. There is a classic simplicity to the flavors; these are not funky natural wines. They are pure and alive with depth and delicious juiciness.

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La Ferme des Sept Lunes 2017 ‘Lune Rousse’ Saint-Joseph Blanc AOC The Roussanne is sourced from multiple parcels with varied exposure on a cool hillside. The resulting wine has beautiful tension and real energy. It is a bit reminiscent of dry Chenin Blanc. Expect lemon, apricot, and white peach on a creamy, medium-bodied palate.

La Ferme des Sept Lunes 2016 Saint-Joseph Blanc AOC The Roussanne and Marsanne grapes were manually harvested. Then they were vinified in stainless steel with indigenous yeast and aged separately for one year in old oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation occurred. The result is an impressive Saint-Joseph Blanc. This is waxy, earthy, and saline with incredible freshness and tension.

La Ferme des Sept Lunes 2016 ‘Pleine Lune’ Saint-Joseph AOC Pleine Lune, or “Full Moon,” is sourced from four hillside parcels in Saint-Désirat totaling 1.2 hectares. The vineyards have a southern exposure. The vines are biodynamically farmed with fruit trees, lilacs and wild herbs growing throughout the terraces.
The grapes are destemmed into concrete vats for spontaneous fermentation. Daily pump overs and foot pigéage is done. The Syrah ages in a combination of 80% neutral demi-muids and 20% old barrels for 12 months, then 3-4 months in tank before being bottled unfined, unfiltered, and without SO2.

La Ferme des Sept Lunes 2016 ‘Premier Quartier’ Saint-Joseph AOC Premier Quartier Saint-Joseph is a blend of multiple parcels with varied exposure on the Peyraud plateau. Plantings are from the early 1980s as well as massale selection vines from 2006-2008. The grapes are destemmed into concrete vats for spontaneous fermentation. Daily pump overs and foot pigéage is done. The Syrah ages in a combination of 90% old barrels and 10% neutral demi-muids for 12 months, then 3-4 months in tank before being bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with a about 15 mg/L of SO2.

La Ferme des Sept Lunes 2016 Saint-Joseph, Chemin Faisant, AOC
The grapes are destemmed into concrete vats for spontaneous fermentation. Daily pump overs and foot pigéage is done. The Syrah ages in a combination of 80% neutral demi-muids and 20% old barrels for 12 months, then 3-4 months in tank before being bottled unfined, unfiltered, and without SO2.

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