Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py 2007
The Foillard's house is in Villié-Morgon, close to the famed Côte du Py climat. When Jean bought the farm, it was in complete disrepair; he began working in viticulture and wine in 1982, first on the family estate, then renting and buying vineyards. Today his estate has a total surface of 11 hectares. The fabled Côte du Py is a climat of the Morgon Appellation where the vineyards grow on slopes with crumbly schists soil that give Gamay a unique expression. The hill is actually an extinct volcano, with lots of different types of soils depending of the plots. Foillard now uses the minimal interventionist viticulture, but his wines are neither officially organic nor biodynamic even though he actually applies many of the rules. What's in a name? What is more important for him, he says, is the result in the bottle, and the certifications on the labels are not his first concern. His cellar is fairly unsophisticated. He buys one-year-old casks and uses them for 10 years, with the objective of keeping the wood in the background. He also has two foudres, one of which is over forty years old. The Morgon is fabulously pure, an unfiltered, unfined, unsulphured turbid Gamay and has something of the quality that Keats described as 'cool-root'd flowers'. The colour is on the dark side of cloudy ruby red, whilst aromas boom happily out of the glass, notably kirsch, rhubarb and sweet blackberries; there's a more fugitive bouquet of warm earth, stones and dried spice evolving into dark chocolate and cinnamon. You can stay and play with the generous nose or delve into a palate that seems to meet you more than halfway. It is extremely refreshing, bright sweet fruit is complemented by a smooth, silky tannic structure, somehow immediate and pleasing yet subtle and complex. Those who taste Foillard's wine are struck by its moreishness: 'I'm finding myself reaching for descriptors such as elegant and expressive - words you'd associate more with Chambolle-Musigny than Beaujolais. The soft texture is the best thing about this wine, and it makes you want to drink. It has no heaviness, it isn't making an effort, it has nothing to prove. After a while longer, herb and tea elements begin to emerge. Then the bottle is empty, leaving me longing for more. It has teased my palate and left me wanting another glass. It is fantastically drinkable'. (Jamie Goode) He's bang on the money; there is plenty of meaty life in this Cote du Py. It is lush yet poised, hearty yet fresh, complex yet direct. Consider my boxes well and truly ticked.
Bursting on the nose, there is kirsch, brown spices, wax, chalk dust, and slight beef. Palate saturating sweet fruit and spice with overtly chalky, stony mineral sensations. Very complex and nice depth. Seems nearly merlot-like. It's a bigger, bolder Beaujolais, like a Moulin-a-Vent style. Meaty and hearty. - Tasted at Marché Bacchus 5/8/10