If the name Jean Foillard rings a bell or the label looks familiar, that's because it is! Jean Foillard is without question, the best producer in Beaujolais. These are some of the most sought-after wines in the world and with good reason. Jean Foillard is one of the greats – not just for Beaujolais but for the French wine industry as a whole – starting his career as one of the disciples of French winemaking legend Jules Chauvet (together with Yvon Métras, Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton and Jean-Paul Thévenet), he and his wife Agnès have been working their vineyard in Morgon together since 1980, and for the past decade have been joined by their son Alex, who has been producing wines under his own name (and under Jean's tutelage) for five years now too.
What seperates Foillard from the rest is their attention to detail, clarity, and purity. These wines are incredibly site-driven, speaking of their vineyard (schist and granite tend to dominate) and their vintage. In this case 2018 was one for the record books for Beaujolais (some even called it legendary!), and 2019 was much the same; bit more challenging with weather, but what little yield guys like Foillard had, they seemed to make tremendous wines with it. As always, these wines are deep, structured and complex, or as pioneering French wine importer and author Kermit Lynch puts it, "always with a velvety lushness that makes them irresistible when young, despite their aging potential."
If you are new to Foillard wines, a great place to start is with Jean Foillard's Morgon Classique or Côte du Py, or his son Alex's Brouilly.
A quick guide;-
Alex (Jean's son)
Beaujolais-Village - flatlands, 70yo vines, limestone soils, bright and fresh
Brouilly - further South, 50yo vines, granite soils, bigger & more bodied
Côte de Brouilly - hillside of Brouilly, 30-60yo vines, schist soils, lighter & fine
Morgon Classique - 20-55yo vines, granite soils, fresh and fruitful
Corcelette - 80yo vines, sandstone soils, intense and perfumed
Les Charmes Eponym' - 45-50yo vines, high elevation, schist soils, tension and elegance
Côte du Py - 10-90yo vines, schist soils, a perfect balance of all aspects
Fleurie - North of Morgon, 20-70yo vines, pink sandstone soils, lightness and finesse
Athanor - From 2015, 100yo vines, 4 years in barrel, rich and intense
Agnès & Nadine (Jean's wife and friend)
Elles - An Everyday Wine exclusive, 10-90yo vines, granite soils, elegance and detail