Jean Foillard is universally recognised as one of the very best Beaujolais producers and is one of the band of 4 of Morgon with Guy Breton, Jean-Paul Thevenet and Marcel Lapierre, who are all adepts of the works of Jules Chauvet on non sulphured vinification. Jean met Jules Chauvet early in his career and became an un-official member of “La Bande a Marcel”. Chauvet’s mantra was that winemaking should be a natural process. He felt that great winemaking started in the vineyard with vigorous canopy management, absolutely no use of chemicals on the vines, low or no use of sulphur etc. To Jean, this all made sense and he’s remained true to these philosophies ever since.
Foillard now uses minimal interventionist viticulture, but his wines are neither officially organic nor biodynamic even though he actually applies many of the rules. What’s in a name? What is more important for him, he says, is the result in the bottle, and the certifications on the labels are not his first concern.
His Morgon cuvées see some three weeks of maceration in tank before gentle pressing and élevage in used Burgundy barrels. Chaptalization is eschewed. He also gives his wines a little bottle age before release. His 2017s just arrived on the market this year, as most of his neighbors released their 2018s. Despite his identification with the natural wine movement, Foillard has no tolerance for slovenly winemaking practices or flawed wines, and his bottles are typically models of aromatic purity and graceful aging. I regularly purchase these wines for my own cellar and warmly recommend them to readers." William Kelley, Wine Advocate (244)