Jean and Agnès Foillard took over his father’s domaine 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 the wine to express itself naturally, as it should be without the bubblegum and banana aromas of so many other Beaujolais available today.
This estate comprises nearly fourteen hectares. Foillard’s Cru bottlings 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.
This 2016 is the first ever village bottling from Domaine Jean Foillard. Not as complex or long lived as his prized Morgon, but this is 100% Foillard through and through. The wine is classic: smooth and seductive, with rose petals, red cherry, and a granite crunch to remind you of the noblesse of these slopes. Featuring vines from the communes of Lancié, Saint-Amour, Saint-Jean-d’Ardières, Perréon, and Régnié-Durette, this is a real Beaujolais-Villages, further set apart by the touch of a master vigneron. The wine shows a delicacy and finesse seldom found in Beaujolais but expected in the best of neighboring Burgundy.