|A blurry picture of the 07
All I’ve got. Poignant that it’s blurry though…
Jean Foillard Morgon Cuvee Corcelette 2009 (Beaujolais, France) 13%ish $70ish
It dawned on me recently when scanning through the reviews on this site that many of the wines that I love to drink aren’t even reviewed on here (which is saddening). The reason for this – I think – is simply because I’m usually too busy drinking said wines to delve into the mechanics of why I’m drinking them. It’s almost drinking, not tasting (of sorts). Actually, that’s not really an accurate description either, for it’s the fabulous mechanics of said wines that drives me to love them in the first place (if that makes any sense) and those mechanics are even more finely appreciated when we step back and go into ‘tasting’ mode (not ‘drinking’. Shit, let’s not delve too far into the semantics of ‘tasting’ vs ‘drinking’ actually).
In the case of this Beaujolais the reasons why I love drinking it are very simple. It’s just simply good. From a wine point of view it’s an utterly pure (and conveniently ‘natural’ wine) wine carrying an appeal that nearly anyone can appreciate (or at least everyone I’ve given some to has appreciated). It’s just grape juice, largely unadulterated fermented grape juice at that, produced from grapes grown in a rather special sandy spot within the Morgon appellation. Grape juice that was gently crafted into wine by the talented Jean Foillard and then bottled in a sexy wax topped bottle for my drinking pleasure. Easy as that really.
Delving deeper, what makes this so good is all about that elusive and extremely underrated wine character of delicacy. It is, in many ways, a pretty wine, a fragrant wine, a wine that – even in this much more robust 2009 vintage framework – still light in body and weight.
It’s that lightness, that featherweight – but not weak – beauty that hooks you in. Indeed it’s even a lighter wine than its other 09 Foillard siblings, a character that makes it even more attractive to me.
Yet – and I want to stress this – it’s still a deep, quite tannic and firm wine, a paradox that makes it even more beguiling to me. Light and dark. Joyful drinkability but with a serious side. Intrigue.
The first thing you smell actually is the dark side. The funk of ‘natural’ (let’s just skip over the natural discussion here for this is a wine that transcends) Gamay with blood and earth and black cherries on the nose in a deep and dark fashion. It’s a varietal, ripe, red and black fruit nose that is still unfurling in the glass. Wonderfully, the palate echoes that tug-of-war tension too, with an initial prettiness, then the fabulous, dusty cherry Morgon thang which then gives way to a dark and very ferrous line through the back end, with everything signing off with quietly rippling tannins. It’s a biggun’ in the Corcelette context yet would still be considered light when compared to most Pinots. Again, the message is delicacy, not overt intensity. Subliminal not overt. Quiet glory and depth cloaked in an easygoing suit.
Excellent wine. 18.6/94
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