Domaine de Fenouillet

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The brothers Soard, Patrick and Vincent, own and operate this impeccable domaine the cellars of which are situated in the village of Beaumes de Venise, in the shadows of Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. They trace their lineage as vignerons back to their great-grandfather, Casimir Soard, whose wines were winning medals as early as 1902. Their grandfather, Louis Soard, specialized in the production of the celebrated Muscat de Beaumes de Venise during the 1950s and his son, Yvon, father to Patrick and Vincent, continued to work and expand the vineyards in Beaumes de Venise and the surrounding communes, although he rendered his grapes to the local cooperative rather than vinifying and commercializing the wines of the domaine. In 1988, Patrick and Vincent, with the encouragement of their mother, Nicole, decided to renew the fame of the estate and constructed the chai and cellars necessary to vinify and bottle the full range of appellations available. In 1989, at the outset of this project, we had the good fortune to encounter the family and we immediately engaged to be their importer for the American market.

The vineyards of the domaine are scattered over seven different communes, including, of course, Beaumes de Venise and the surrounding villages. The appellations include Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Ventoux (vineyards in the communes of Saint Hippolyte, Piniere, Aubignan and Barroux), Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and Beaumes de Venise (vineyards in Beaumes de Venise, La Roque Alric and Suzette). The Soard family has always farmed with great concern for the environment and now all of the wines produced at the domaine are certified “organic”.

Fenouillet-Vin-de-Pays-Vaucluse Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge: This lovely “bargain” is a blend of the hybrid grape “Marsellan” and Merlot, a curious concoction that produces a silky wine redolent of red fruit mingled with “sous-bois”. The grapes are crushed, destemmed and then macerated and fermented for a week or so before being racked into cement cuve for six months before bottling. We import 7500 to 9000 bottles per year for the US market. Certified organic.
Fenouillet-Rose Ventoux Rosé This Rosé: is vinified partially by direct press and partially by “saignée”, the juice is naturally clarified after a cold “débourbage” of 24 hours, the wine ferments at temperature that never exceeds 16 degrees Celsius and then it is aged on the fine lees for four to six months before bottling. It is a blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache and 10% Syrah, all of which is planted to soils of clay, limestone and silex. Production is limited: we import approximately 6000 bottles per annum for the US market. Certified organic.
Fenouillet-Cotes-de-Ventoux-Rouge

Ventoux Rouge: This cuvée is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Carignan. It is sourced from three separate “terroirs”: the stony silex-infused plateau of Saint Hippolyte, the silex dominated soils of the hill of Piniere in Aubignan and the clay-limestone mix in the soils of the commune of Barroux. The parcels are harvested and vinified separately and the final blend is created before the bottling which occurs prior to the next year’s harvest. Annual production is in the neighborhood of 16,000 bottles of which about half (7800 bottles) are shipped by us for distribution in the USA. Certified organic.

Fenouillet-Beaumes-de-Venise-Rouge-Ter-Bl Beaumes de Venise Rouge Les Terres Blanches: This is the most important wine of the domaine in terms of production and the wine that we feel offers exceptional value for its quality. It is, then, the workhorse of the estate. The vineyards are situated on the massif of the Dentelles de Montmirail and much of the vineyard surface is laid out in terraces to accommodate the steep slope of the hill. The soil is clay and limestone and the “encepagement” is 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre (more or less). Harvest and vinification is done parcel-by-parcel and the final blend is done after a long cuvaison designed to obtain the finest and most profound extracts. The wine is bottled unfiltered after eleven months of aging in cement cuves. Annual production is on the order of 30,000 bottles of which 3600 to 4800 bottles are shipped for our use in the USA. Certified organic.
Fenouillet-Beaumes-de-Venise-Rge-Yvon-Soard Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cuvée Yvon Soard: A limited production wine produced in the best vintages in honor of the father of Patrick and Vincent Soard. This wine is sourced from the oldest vines of the domaine (75 years old as of 2011) from a hillside “combe” in the shadow of the Dentelles de Montmirail and just over the hill from Gigondas. The vineyard is a mix of clay and limestone and harvest levels are low, usually reaching at most 35 hectoliters per hectare. The wine is aged in cement cuves for two years before being bottled unfiltered. The final grape blend is usually: 50% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 15% Mourvedre. Approximately 3600 bottles are produced annually; 1200 bottles plus a few magnums are bottled for us for sale in the USA. Certified organic.
Fenouillet-Muscat-dBdV-2002 Muscat de Beaumes de Venise – Vin Doux Naturel: The Muscat grape is best when planted in poor, sandy soils in Beaumes de Venise. The grapes for this cuvée are selected after a series of passes through the vineyards to pick the grapes at the proper level of maturity with the desired balance between sugar and acid; a further “trie” occurs upon entry to the chai. The fermentation, at low temperatures to best preserve the enchanting aromas of the Muscat grape, is stopped at the point where the alcohol – sugar balance is as desired. The Fenouillet Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is a marvel: complex nose of ripe fruits (peaches and citrus) and flowers, ample and harmonious mouthfeel and a long, fresh finish. Fenouillet produces about 30,000 bottles per vintage; we import 2400 bottles for the US market. Certified organic.
Download Fenouillet tech sheet
Domaine NameDomaine de Fenouillet
Family/Owners NameSOARD Patrick and Vincent
How many years has the family owned the domaine?Late 19 century, early 20 century
How many generations?Currently the 4th generation, the 5th arrives
How many hectares of vines are leased?0.15
How many hectares of vines are owned?0.85
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When?Certified organic since 2012 and no certification for Biodynamie
PLEASE ALSO ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING IN YOUR REPLY:Soil treating is mainly done by tractors and the other part by hand.
How do you fertilize?Green harvest : yes for the young vines. Leaf thinning : yes for a part of muscats. No chemical fertilizer, only manure.
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.No
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso?No
WINE 1Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationMuscat de Beaumes de Venise
Cepage/UvaggioMuscat petits grains blanc
%ABV15% by vol
# of bottles produced21 000 bottles
Grams of Residual Sugar110g/l
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsMainly at Fenouillet (Dentelles de Montmirail)
Exposures and slope of vineyardsFor the plots situated in Fenouiilet, south exposure with 20% of slopes.
Soil Types(s)Miocen sand
Average vine age (per vineyard)33 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4500 vines / ha
Approximate harvest date(s)From late August to late September
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 was very dry with few rains in the spring and thanks to the only one rain in July and August, the grapes ripened in perfect conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?We have the advantage to have an exceptional period of sunshine all the year, and especially the Mistral (strong wind) which clean up the atmosphere and allows us to be less exposed to Mildiou desease than other regions. No treatments against Botrytis.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tanks
Duration of contact with lees3 months
Duration of skin contact6 hours
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationAfter settling, the must ferment at 14°C. Then we add organic alcohol, about 7%, to stop the fermentation and preserves natural sugar of the grapes
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel tanks
Duration of elevageFor 12 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketBetween 3 to 6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining with bentonite, 15g/hl. Filtration with Kieselghur
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes. We are trying to use very little dose of SO2 when the grapes are picked and for bottling 2 g/hl. 100 mg/L of sulfur dioxide remains in the wine at release
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2015 was of very good quality, lots of fruits for the whites and rosés. Complexity and concentration for the reds. Complete vintage similar to 2016, with a little more quantities, even if the yields are poor for us.
WINE 2TERRES BLANCHES
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationBeaumes de Venise
Cepage/UvaggioGrenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
%ABV14% by vol
# of bottles produced20 000 bottles
Grams of Residual Sugar
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsMainly at Fenouillet (Dentelles de Montmirail)
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth exposure. Slope 20%
Soil Types(s)White marl, clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)34 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4500 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)From late August to late September
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 was very dry with few rains in the spring and thanks to the only one rain in July and August, the grapes ripened in perfect conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?We have the advantage to have an exceptional period of sunshine all the year, and especially the Mistral (strong wind) which clean up the atmosphere and allows us to be less exposed to Mildiou desease than other regions. No treatments against Botrytis.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and size autres recipients? Concrete tanks
Duration of cuvaison20 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationDuring the maceration: pumping-over and punching-down every day. 1 to 2 racks and returns during the fermentation. No chaptalization. Malolactic fermentation.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Concrete tanks
Duration of elevageFor 18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo fining. Pre-filtration only at 5g
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes. We are trying to use very little dose of SO2 when the grapes are picked and for bottling 2 g/hl. About 40 to 50 mg/L of sulfur dioxide remains in the wine at release
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2015 was of very good quality, lots of fruits for the whites and rosés. Complexity and concentration for the reds. Complete vintage similar to 2016, with a little more quantities, even if the yields are small for us.
WINE 3YVON SOARD
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationBeaumes de Venise
Cepage/UvaggioSyrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre
%ABV14% by vol
# of bottles produced6 800 bottles
Grams of Residual Sugar
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsMainly at Fenouillet (Dentelles de Montmirail). The vineyard is spread over 7 different villages
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth exposure. Slope 20%
Soil Types(s)White marl, clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)34 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4500 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)From late August to late September
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 was very dry with few rains in the spring and thanks to the only one rain in July and August, the grapes ripened in perfect conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?We have the advantage to have an exceptional period of sunshine all the year, and especially the Mistral (strong wind) which clean up the atmosphere and allows us to be less exposed to Mildiou desease than other regions. No treatments against Botrytis.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete tank
Duration of cuvaison20 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationDuring the maceration reds are pumping-over and punching-down every day. 1 to 2 racks and returns during the fermentation. No chaptalization . Malolactic fermentation.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Concrete tank
Duration of elevageFor 18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo fining. Pre-filtration only at 5g
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes. We are trying to use very little dose of SO2 when the grapes are picked and for bottling 2 g/hl. About 40 to 50mg/L of sulfur dioxide remains in the wine at release
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2015 was of very good quality, lots of fruits for the whites and rosés. Complexity and concentration for the reds. Complete vintage similar to 2016, with a little more quantities, even if the yields are small for us.
WINE 4VENTOUX ROUGE
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationVentoux
Cepage/UvaggioGrenache, Syrah, Carignan
%ABV13% by vol
# of bottles produced26 000 bottles
Grams of Residual Sugar
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone and silica
Average vine age (per vineyard)28 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4500 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)From late August to late September
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 was very dry with few rains in the spring and thanks to the only one rain in July and August, the grapes ripened in perfect conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?We have the advantage to have an exceptional period of sunshine all the year, and especially the Mistral (strong wind) which clean up the atmosphere and allows us to be less exposed to Mildiou desease than other regions. No treatments against Botrytis.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete tank
Duration of cuvaison16 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationDuring the maceration: pumping-over and punching-down every day. 1 to 2 racks and returns during the fermentation. No chaptalization. Malolactic fermentation.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Concrete tank
Duration of elevageFor 18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo fining. Pre-filtration only at 5g
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes. We are trying to use very little dose of SO2 when the grapes are picked and for bottling 2 g/hl. 100 mg/L of sulfur dioxide remains in the wine at release
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2015 was of very good quality, lots of fruits for the whites and rosés. Complexity and concentration for the reds. Complete vintage similar to 2016, with a little more quantities, even if the yields are small for us.
WINE 5VENTOUX ROSE
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationVentoux
Cepage/UvaggioCinsault, Grenache, Syrah
%ABV13% by vol
# of bottles produced12 000 bottles
Grams of Residual Sugar
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone and silica
Average vine age (per vineyard)28 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4500 vines / ha
Approximate harvest date(s)From late August to late September
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 was very dry with few rains in the spring and thanks to the only one rain in July and August, the grapes ripened in perfect conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?We have the advantage to have an exceptional period of sunshine all the year, and especially the Mistral (strong wind) which clean up the atmosphere and allows us to be less exposed to Mildiou desease than other regions. No treatments against Botrytis.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of skin contact6 hours
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationDirect pressing except for Syrah it is bleeding. For rosé wines we let the must settle then they are fermented.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel tank
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining with bentonite, 15g/hl. Filtration with Kieselghur
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes. We are trying to use very little dose of SO2 when the grapes are picked and for bottling 2 g/hl. About 40 to 50 mg/L of sulfur dioxide remains in the wine at release
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2015 was of very good quality, lots of fruits for the whites and rosés. Complexity and concentration for the reds. Complete vintage similar to 2016, with a little more quantities, even if the yields are small for us.
Commentaire sur le processus : Saigné ? Presse Directe?We use the both techniques even if the proportion of direct pressing is 80%
WINE 6VIN DE PAYS ROUGE
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationVin de Pays
Cepage/UvaggioMerlot 70%, Marselan 20%, Caladoc 10 %
%ABV13% by vol
# of bottles produced10 000 bottles
Grams of Residual Sugar
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Soil Types(s)Sandstone and Marl
Average vine age (per vineyard)28 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4500 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)From late August to late September
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 was very dry with few rains in the spring and thanks to the only one rain in July and August, the grapes ripened in perfect conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?We have the advantage to have an exceptional period of sunshine all the year, and especially the Mistral (strong wind) which clean up the atmosphere and allows us to be less exposed to Mildiou desease than other regions. No treatments against Botrytis.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete tank
Duration of cuvaison12 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationDuring the maceration: pumping-over and punching-down every day. 1 to 2 racks and returns during the fermentation. No chaptalization . Malolactic fermentation.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Concrete tank
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo fining. Pre-filtration only at 5g
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes. We are trying to use very little dose of SO2 when the grapes are picked and for bottling 2 g/hl. About 40 to 50 mg/L of sulfur dioxide remains in the wine at release
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2015 was of very good quality, lots of fruits for the whites and rosés. Complexity and concentration for the reds. Complete vintage similar to 2016, with a little more quantities, even if the yields are small for us.

Summary of Grower Visits – Part V

BOIS DE BOURSAN: 2018 was a difficult vintage for Versino; harvest began 12 Sept ended 28 Sept; due to extensive mildew throughout the season, he harvested 11.5 hectoliters per hectare; this on the heels of 2017 which yielded another small crop size of 22 hl/ha.

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THE 2017 ROSE REPORT CONTINUED

A QUARTET FROM THE SOUTHERN RHONE …. In the ever-thirsty global rose marketplace, it is Provence that is held up as the gold (or, shall we say, pale salmon) standard—for color, for texture, for flavor profile, and for ease of use. There are many consumers who look askance at any rose that isn’t ultra-pale and […]

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Fenouillet Ventoux Rosé

Happy Valentine’s Day from Beaumes de Venise–a fitting day to bring you news of the first of four rosés we will be tasting today. Wearing a pale salmon color, the Domaine de Fenouillet 2016 Ventoux Rosé is vibrant and balanced compared to the richer rosés you often find in the Southern Rhone.  It is a […]

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