From release through decades of aging, there's no Cru Beaujolais producer that's equaled the thrills of Jean Foillard. Young producers like Yann Bertrand call him a mentor, while his contemporaries call him the Morgon Master. Regardless of where your preferences lie within the unparralled values found in Cru Beaujolais, one thing is clear: Jean Foillard is the benchmark.
Of course, Foillard is best known for his work in Morgon's cherished Côte du Py and Corcellete, but his micro-production Fleurie cuvée and his recent Eponym "Les Charmes" have evoked equal lust. If pressed to answer which $40 French red I would want to find in my cellar in 10, 20, and 30 years, the clear choice is Foillard.
I've been forunate enough to drink wines after decades in bottle and they're nothing short of magical. Even a 2010 Corcelette opend last weekend at a friend's wedding had turned into somewhat of a masterpiece, with sweet and savory brown spices gaining prominence. The concept of "Pinote" has been given to these Gamays that with time develop Pinot Noir-type elements that make them nearly indistinguishable from aged Red Burgundy. Foillard's back-vintage examples illustrate this idea vividly.
But, let's not get ahead of the true gift of Cru Beaujolais: its unrivaled approachablity upon release. Yes, these top cuvées will improve and transform with time, but the silky, harmonious, and pure-fruited elements that have earned Foillard fame are in perfect focus day one. Foillard offers the best of both worlds. Thankfully, I've gotten into the habit of cellaring a handfull of bottles each vintage, with magnums certainly going directly to sleep for a yet-to-be-named future fête. When these magnums of Foillard magically appear, no matter the venue, heads turn and eyes light up.
Morgon Corcelette comes from a parcel of 80-year old vines planted in sandstone. Delicacy and a silken mouthfeel always stand out with this cuvée. The fruit spectrum tends to be a little more high toned, and red-fruited. Aged in a combo of used barrels and one 30-hectoliter foudre.
Morgon Côte du Py is sourced from the famed granite and schist hill that sits just outside the town of Villié-Morgon. Vines here are 90-years old. This shows the darker, more structured side of Morgon. Aged in used barrels.
Morgon Les Charmes has been produced only since 2013 and comes from Morgon's highest altitude lieu dit, only 1.3ha in size. It's the most transparent and energetic of the range. While we don't know exactly how this will perform over time in the cellar, my intuition says it will unwind to be the thriller of the linuep. Aged in used barrels.
Fleurie is best known for its limited availability, as production is rougly 8% of each the Côte du Py and Corcelette cuvées. Planted on the pink sandstone that's featured throughout veins of this village dubbed, the "Queen of Beaujolais". Sourced from Fleurie's top two sites: Grille-Midi and Champagne. Aged in used barrels.
Morgon 3.14 is the greatest wine of Beaujoais (although Métras l'Ultime & Dutraive Cuvée Champagne deserve honorable mention). 100+yr-old-vines are tapped from decomposed granite. Aged in used barrels.
2015 Foillard Morgon Côte du Py
2015 Foillard Morgon Cuvée Corcelette
2015 Foillard Morgon Côte du Py 1.5L
2014 Foillard Morgon Eponym "Les Charmes
2014 Foillard Fleurie
2014 Foillard Morgon 3.14
2013 Foillard Morgon Eponym "Les Charmes"
2013 Foillard Morgon Côte du Py
2013 Foillard Morgon 3.14