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2018 Beaujolais-Villages

Alex Foillard


Clark's Pick This was the last bottle of wine I had on a 10-day trip to Paris this year. It soared with the myriad dishes at the Moroccan resto, Le Tagine. You must check it out the next time you're in the 11th.

Anytime you hear the words “Foillard” and “Beaujolais” in the same sentence—or read them on the same label—you can expect to be in for a treat. That holds true when the Foillard in question is not Jean but his son, Alex, and when the Beaujolais is not a Morgon, but a brand-new bottling of Beaujolais-Villages. Alex tracked down an excellent old-vine parcel situated just beneath the cru of Régnié, between Morgon and Brouilly. The delicate fragrance betrays his light touch in the cellar; this drinks like a Gamay infusion with lovely hints of potpourri, spice, and fresh grapes. Serve it cool, naturally.

Anthony Lynch

$29.00
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2018
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Beaujolais-Villages
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Alex Foillard
Vineyard: 70 years old
Soil: Limestone, Sand
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 12.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Beaujolais

map of Beaujolais

After years of the region’s reputation being co-opted by mass-produced Beaujolais Nouveau and the prevalence of industrial farming, the fortunes of vignerons from the Beaujolais have been on the rise in the past couple of decades. Much of this change is due to Jules Chauvet, a prominent Beaujolais producer who Kermit worked with in the 1980s and arguably the father of the natural wine movement, who advocated not using herbicides or pesticides in vineyards, not chaptalizing, fermenting with ambient yeasts, and vinifying without SO2. Chief among Chauvet’s followers was Marcel Lapierre and his three friends, Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, and Jean-Paul Thévenet—a group of Morgon producers who Kermit dubbed “the Gang of Four.” The espousal of Chauvet’s methods led to a dramatic change in quality of wines from Beaujolais and with that an increased interest and appreciation for the AOC crus, Villages, and regular Beaujolais bottlings.

The crus of Beaujolais are interpreted through the Gamay grape and each illuminate the variety of great terroirs available in the region. Distinguishing itself from the clay and limestone of Burgundy, Beaujolais soils are predominantly decomposed granite, with pockets of blue volcanic rock. The primary vinification method is carbonic maceration, where grapes are not crushed, but instead whole clusters are placed in a tank, thus allowing fermentation to take place inside each grape berry.

Much like the easy-going and friendly nature of many Beaujolais vignerons, the wines too have a lively and easy-drinking spirit. They are versatile at table but make particularly good matches with the local pork sausages and charcuterie. Though often considered a wine that must be drunk young, many of the top crus offer great aging potential.

More from Beaujolais or France

2018 Côte-de-Brouilly

Nicole Chanrion  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Côte-de-Brouilly

$24.00

2018 Chiroubles

Guy Breton  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Chiroubles

$37.00

Cru Beaujolais Sampler

  France  |  Beaujolais

$140.00 $175.00

2018 Morgon “V.V.”

Guy Breton  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Morgon

$37.00
$22.00

2018 Régnié

Guy Breton  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Régnié

$33.00

2017 Beaujolais-Villages

Jean Foillard  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Beaujolais-Villages

$25.00

2018 Beaujolais-Villages “Les Grandes Terres”

Quentin Harel  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Beaujolais Villages

$22.00

2018 Fleurie
“Les Moriers”

Domaine Chignard  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Fleurie

$27.00

2017 Juliénas

La Soeur Cadette  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Juliénas

$31.00

2018 Juliénas “Beauvernay”

Domaine Chignard  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Juliénas

$25.00

2019 Beaujolais Nouveau

Domaine Dupeuble  France  |  Beaujolais  |  Beaujolais

$17.50

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

Kermit once said...
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