2013FoillardEponym2013 Jean Foillard, Morgon “Les Charmes” Cuvee Eponym, Cru Beaujolais, France.
Foulard makes Gamay wines that drink like Premier Cru Burgundy, these are exceptional wines of profound impact and personality, I’ve been in love with Jean Foillard’s Morgons since the 2005 and even lesser years like 2006 and 2007 were gorgeous, and of course the whole wine world went completely nuts for the 2009 vintage. Foillard’s main wine is the “Cote du Py” but there are rare limited other cuvees like his “3.14 cuvee Pi” and the lovely “Cuvee Corcelette” as well as the black label Fleurie, a heavenly Gamay creation from a tiny plot of Fleurie, and then there is this Cuvee Eponym “Les Charmes” a totally new one for me, and a wine I was most excited to sample! The Eponym is made from the highest elevation site in Morgon, 45 to 50 year old Gamay vines on granite, schist and manganese soils, as with all of Jean Foillard’s wines it is whole cluster, all organic and with no added SO2 during ferments, the wines are raised in used Burgundy barrels, except Corcelette which uniquely is done in one single large Foudre. The top of the hill Lieu-Dit Les Charmes gives an added intensity, in fact it is a very nervy with hard bitter shrillness that was surprising at first, but thankfully first impressions give way and this gorgeous Gamay changed it’s tune with a bit of air revealing an inner beauty of Gamay heaven, while never letting you forget it’s structure and peaky qualities. After an hour this Morgon showed it’s best side with violets, walnut oil, blackberry, tangy dark currant and sweet kirsch as well as stem tannins, savory spices, shale/stone, mixed herb, cinnamon bark, earth and tart wild strawberry. This is the most edgy of the Foillard offerings, but certainly very thought provoking, intriguing and powerful in an almost Cornas kind of way without losing any of it’s own sense of place or varietal pureness, I think over time this charmer will be even more sensational, it might just be a bit firm or tight to be fully appreciated without cuisine. Just to let you know too, this cuvee Eponym comes in with natural alcohol at 11.7% which is quite low, but again highlights terroir, artistry and passion hidden behind an icy stare, brilliant stuff, if not as wildly seductive as Foillard’s other wines.
($40 Est.) 91+ Points, grapelive

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