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2022 Beaujolais-Villages

Jean Foillard
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For this over-delivering Beaujolais-Villages, Jean sources organic grapes from excellent parcels around his village of Villié-Morgon as well as Lancié, Saint-Amour, and Saint-Étienne-la-Varenne, and ages the wine through an extended élevage more akin to that of his renowned Morgons than to other regional bottlings. Accordingly, the wine evolves slowly, becoming more poised and complete. Evoking pomegranate, rhubarb, and black tea, the result is a beautiful initiation to Jean’s house style, distinguished by a mesmerizing tension between depth, density, silkiness, and elegance.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Beaujolais-Villages
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Jean Foillard
Vineyard: 20 to 55 years old, 7 ha
Soil: Granite
Aging: Aged 7 months in concrete tank
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 13.3%

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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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Vintage Chart

Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch

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