Every now then, not too often, there is a convergence of a great terroir and gifted winegrower. Jean Foillard’s wines are one such convergence.
His organically farmed vineyard lies on a privileged site of ‘Côte du Py’ in the cru of Morgon. The vines are old - naturally giving small yields, resulting in concentration and elegance. He raises his wines in neutral Burgundy barrels and foudres up to a year, followed by aging in bottles for up to an additional year. All such care taken is a rarity in the region. No details escape this vigneron. When we visited him in October 2010, he was in the process of ‘breaking the cap’ by adding the fermenting juice from the bottom of the vat to the top, which is a standard step in making wine. The majority of the vignerons use a pump for the procedure by simply connecting a hose from the bottom of the vat to the top and flick on the switch. Jean Foillard, however, prefers the gentle nature of gravity. He believes the violent action of the pump will diminish the living indigenous yeasts that nature intended, leading to a loss of illusive, indescribable quality but evident in tasting. So, he takes the extra step and draws the fermenting juice to a tub. The tub is then raised above the fermenting tank and the drawn juice is gently siphoned onto the top of the vat by gravity.
Jean Foillard tasting with the local vignerons - where experiences and knowledge are openly shared.
All of Jean Foillard’s work, of course, is not possible without the support from his wife Agnès. She takes on equally important front office work, salon tastings - not to mention feeding the dozens of harvesters – all of this while raising the family. It is because of her that the wines arrive on our shores.
In addition to producing ‘Côte du Py’, ‘Cuvee Corcelette’ is also produced. It is a climat within Morgon that has more sand than ‘Côte du Py’. He also makes Fleurie. In some vintages, a special cuvee ‘π 3.14’ is bottled, which is from ancient vines (about 90 years old) from ‘Côte du Py’. Drinking a bottle of ‘π 3.14’ is a special event.
Among the autumn vines in the Corcelette vineyard.
©2010-2012 Racine Wine Imports