Ahhh lovely Booj. I’ve been hanging out for the 2010 Beaujolais to reach our fair shores. While the 2009 vintage managed to gather so gushing praise from the likes of Jancis Robinson, Eric Asimov and others, it just didn’t really float my boat. There is no denying that quality was excellent, but with the increased levels of extract and heft on the palate from the 2009 vintage, the wines seemed to lack some of the aspects that I find most attractive from the region.
Clarity and definition of aromas and flavours seemed lacking and purity and drive across the palate, that certain tension and crunchiness to the fruit characters were diminished….not so with the 2010′s.
While this is of course, personal preference on my behalf, and I did enjoy quite a few wines from 2009, but they just didn’t seem to hit my sweet-spot….that seemed to carry over to the 09s from a few other regions as well….I guess that my tastes lie somewhere between the “classic” years and the more heavy hitting, recent “exceptional” years.
Jean Foillard & wife Anges run an estate around 11ha in size including 5ha upon the sought after climat on the Côte du Py hillside in Morgon. The winemaking is very considered…long, cold macerations, natural yeasts, little or no sulphur, no pumps, no filtration, no fining and old oak….the result….delicious, detailed wines that are among the finest in the region.
Foillard is a member of the “Gang of Four” along with Thevenet, Breton and the late, Marcel Lapierre….all disciples of a gentleman called Jules Chauvet. Chauvet was a winemaker and chemist who did a great deal of research into yeast, malolactic fermentation and carbonic maceration. He also developed the INAO tasting glass, a design that was adopted by the ISO and became an industry standard and of course…..he was a huge inspiration to what is now called the natural wine movement in France.
I’m a bit of a sucker for Morgon, which I find to be one of the most recognisable Crus with a calvados-like cut to its aromas. Morgon is around 1,100 ha in size and what sets it apart from the other Beaujolais crus is beneath the ground. The soils here mainly comprise of decomposed schists called roche pourries which contain iron and the wines can be long lived if you can keep your hands off them for long enough.
The Cote de Py hillside is actually an extinct volcano and there are a few different patches of soil on its slopes….the Foillard Cote de Py offering has become a regular at the table in our household over the years and remains one of my favourite wines from the region. I’m such a tragic that I even have an old photograph of the Cote de Py vineyard hanging up in the dining room….peaking the geek meter.
The Corcelette vineyard is a lieux-dix conisting of 80 year old vines inherited from Agnes parents that lies on sandier soils quite peculiar for the cru of Morgon. The wine itself seems a little finer, a little more floral with flicks of violet high-tones and a taut, driven structure in the mouth….perhaps a little more bound up that the Cote de Py at this stage.
Slightly cloudy, grapey re/purple in hue. A lovely expressive nose with aromas of wild cherry and dark berry compote with a lighter waft of calvados flitting around in the background. It’s cut with shafts of Asian spice & earth along with hints of licorice, jasmine, veal jus, iron fillings and stone.
Medium-bodied on the palate and again, quite expressive though there is a defined stony structure to the wine as it enters the back palate after the initial wash of dark fruits and spice. Flavours of wild cherry and plum with a slightly wild edge endear immediately before the exotic spice rolls in. Plenty of clarity & detail to the wine with notes of rosemary, thyme, a dash of fennel, jasmine top-notes and a lick of roasting meats all coming into play. The finish is medium in length and the tannins fine-grained and compact as the minerally acid line propels the wine along to its end-point. That calvados-like note rears its head at the end again also to stamp its “somewhereness” firmly in place…..delicious drinking.
Price: $60 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol: 13.5% – Source: Cellar – Importer: Andrew Guard Wine Imports
And in lieu of some numerical bollocks I will rate this one…..say….. one top-heavy hotty busting a pop shove-it….very fine indeed.