Jean Foillard Morgon Les Charmes Eponym&

Jean Foillard Morgon Les Charmes Eponym' Beaujolais 2021
(Beaujolais, France)

Regular price $65.00 Sale price $53.97 Save $11.03

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About This Wine

This powerhouse Morgon comes from Jean Foillard, one of the OG pioneers of the natural wine movement in Beaujolais.

Jean and Agnès Foillard took over his father’s domain in 1980.  Most of their vineyards are planted on the Côte du Py, the famed slope outside the town of Villié-Morgon, and the pride of Morgon. These granite and schist soils sit on an alluvial fan at the highest point above the town and impart great complexity.

However, great real estate is not the only key to Foillard’s success. Early on, Jean began to follow the teachings of Jules Chauvet, a traditionalist who defied everything that the more commercial brands were touting in the region. Jean and three other local vignerons, Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thévenet, and Guy Breton, soon joined in on the movement.

This Gang of Four called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: starting with old vines, never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all, and refusing both chaptalization and filtration. The end result allows Morgon to express itself naturally, as it should be without the bubblegum and banana aromas of so many other Beaujolais available today. Its rustic structure, spicy notes, and mineral-laden backbone are what real Morgon is all about.

This estate comprises nearly 35 acres. Foillard’s Morgons are deep, structured, and complex, with a velvety lushness that makes them irresistible when young despite their aging potential. Jean raises his wines in older barrels sourced from top estates in Burgundy, a logical decision for someone crafting Gamay in a Burgundian style. It is the passion and dedication of vignerons like this that have brought pride back to the crus of the Beaujolais.

Eponym is sourced from a tiny parcel in Les Charmes. All Foillards have an amazing textural intrigue, but here you get a minerality that's profoundly tactile. We love the wine's energetic mineral streak and nuanced floral notes. Fruit for this earthy wine comes from 45 to 50-year-old organically farmed vines and is vinified whole cluster. Silky, sultry, and undeniably versatile on the table, this wine will always remain a top pick from Morgon.

Ratings & Reviews (Previous Vintage 2020):

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate rated the 2020 Foillard Cote du Py 95 Points:
"Foillard's 2020 Morgon Côte du Py bursts with aromas of peonies, orange rind, exotic spices and dark berries. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered, it's deep and concentrated, with a rich core of fruit, tangy acids, powdery tannins and a long, sapid finish. Intensely flavored and incisive, at this early stage the 2020 looks to be one of the finest vintages of this cuvée in recent years.

As I've written before, it's an open secret that this is one of the region's finest, most consistent addresses, and the just-released 2020 vintage has turned out especially well. Jean and Agnès Foillard's first vintage was in 1981, but it was in 1985 that Jean began to work differently, influenced by his neighbor, the late Marcel Lapierre. Lapierre followed négociant and microbiologist Jules Chauvet in rejecting selected yeasts and manipulative winemaking in favor of minimal effective sulfur dioxide and carbonic maceration at comparatively low temperatures. Today, Foillard remains true to that approach: His Morgon cuvées see some three weeks of maceration in tank before gentle pressing and élevage in used Burgundy barrels. Chaptalization is eschewed. He also gives his wines a little bottle age before release. Despite his identification with the natural wine movement, Foillard has no tolerance for slovenly winemaking practices or flawed wines, and a large production notwithstanding, his bottles are typically models of aromatic purity and graceful aging. I regularly purchase these wines for my own cellar and continue to warmly recommend them to readers." -WK (8/4/22)