JEAN FOILLARD, Villié-Morgon
“Take the Foillards in Morgon, for example. Morgon is in the heart of the Beaujolais, and is as tumblingly pretty a winegrowing landscape as you can find anywhere. Jean Foillard is one of the region’s greatest growers, and he has a big parcel of vines up on the Côte de Py, whose iron-stained, ‘rotten’ (or crumbled) schist soils produce wines out of which regiments of cherries march like gleaming toy soldiers.
His wife, Agnès, has turned their rambling old farm into a warm, modern guesthouse where I stayed that night, eating, as darkness fell, with her and the children. When we had tasted wine a little earlier, the children were playing in the courtyard; an old neighbour (the man who organised the village band) had dropped in; other guests had arrived, tasted and talked about the wine, comparing it to others they knew. Bordeaux, maybe… or a fresh red from Chinon… and what about Santenay?… or then there’s Poulsard from the Jura…
Their voices faded. I wrote in the book about the intense emotion Jean Foillard’s Morgon suddenly produced in me; what I didn’t write about was how, at the same moment, I was suddenly hit by an overwhelming sense of rootedness. The Foillards seemed, for a few moments, like their own vines, anchored in the Côte de Py, belonging to it, exploring it for a short lifetime, before their own children arrived, and their children’s children, and so on, like another line of toy soldiers, marching off into the future.” Andrew Jefford
Jean Foillard’s estate comprises of 11 ha, including 5 ha in the fabled Côte de Py climat. Jean uses the minimal interventionist viticulture, but his wines are neither officially organic nor biodynamic even though he actually applies many of the rules. The use of oak is minimum as the fruit and great terroirs are let to express themselves.
Morgon Côte de Py is grown on arguably one of the best site of the entire Beaujolais region, 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.
What a wine.. the first sniff transports you to the very best plots of Chambolle-Musigny or Volnay… you’re definitly not in Beaujolais. The scents of rapsberry, dark cherry is incredibly intense, then follows the palate.. rarely have I ever tasted a wine so soft and caressing, specially at such an early stage of its life; lots of delicate and ripe red berries, cherry, herbal hints yet the structure is firm enough and confirm the real pedigree of this amazing wine.