Earlier this year we were able to announce to our Newsletter readers one of the most exciting recent developments: that starting with the 2016 vintage, Jean Foillard makes a Beaujolais-Villages.
And now we have enough to be able to put it on our website, too! (If you want to be sure to hear about wines like these even when we don’t have enough to list on the web, sign up for our newsletter here or use the pop-up, below.)
You probably know Foillard; in some people’s books, he’s the greatest producer of Cru Beaujolais. He is a member of the Kermit Lynch-dubbed “Gang of Four,” the four Morgon producers who together followed the teachings of the low-sulfur, natural-winemaking pioneer, Jules Chauvet (Lapierre, Thévenet, and Breton, of course, being the other three).
Foillard’s signature wine is from old vines on Morgon’s illustrious Côte du Py. But over the years his holdings have spread—just slightly—beyond the borders of that vineyard, and even beyond the borders of Cru Beaujolais into “Villages” territory. For a while, he made Beaujolais Nouveau from these holdings. But now he deems the vines sufficiently old—some go back 55 years—to merit the full Beaujolais treatment.
“Full Beaujolais treatment” means a wine-making process that is basically a slightly abbreviated version of his Morgons’. Macerations are a little shorter. Aging in wooden casks is a little shorter. But otherwise things are pretty much the same, including whole-cluster fermentations, minimal sulfur, and no additives or manipulations (of course).
So what’s the wine like? If you’ve tasted the Morgons, you know they’re complex wines with an extraordinary deliciousness at their core. And you know it can take a little patience, or perhaps some work to get to that core: if you haven’t cellared it for a bit you’ll probably need to decant it and serve it with the right food. However you serve it, you’ll probably want to take a minute or two to contemplate what you’re drinking. The Beaujolais-Villages imposes no prerequisites on your pleasure: you can just drink the wine, and go straight to delicious.
Stock up, as this will disappear fast:
Jean Foillard, Beaujolais-Villages, 2016 – $23.99