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2020 Brouilly

Alex Foillard
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Brouilly’s La Folie vineyard is so named because it receives so much wind, thereby driving those who farm it mad. The wind also sweeps most of the topsoil off of this incredibly rocky land, rendering the wines from here unusually chiseled and firm for a cru that is otherwise known for elegance and suppleness. Even La Folie, however, can’t help but yield to the silky touch of a Foillard. Irresistibly floral, deep, and concentrated, this is Brouilly like you’ve never tasted it.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Brouilly
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Alex Foillard
Vineyard: 1 ha, 50 years old
Soil: Granite, under a thin layer of soil
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About The Region

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.

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Old wine bottles

Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.

Inspiring Thirst, page 236

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