A superb Magnum bottle to serve with sunday dinner or some delicious game. Jean Foillard's Cote du Py is fabulously pure - unfiltered, unfined, unsulphured Gamay. The colour is on the dark side of cloudy ruby red, whilst aromas boom happily out of the glass, notably kirsch, rhubarb and sweet blackberries; there's a more fugitive bouquet of warm earth, stones and dried spice evolving into dark chocolate and cinnamon. You can stay and play with the generous nose or delve into a palate that seems to meet you more than halfway. It is extremely refreshing, bright sweet fruit is complemented by a smooth, silky tannic structure, somehow immediate and pleasing yet subtle and complex. Those who taste Foillard's wine are struck by its moreishness.
The Jean Foillard estate has a total surface of 11 hectares next to the fabled Côte du Py hillside. Here the vineyards grow on slopes with crumbly schist soil that give Gamay a unique expression. The hill is actually an extinct volcano, with lots of different types of soils depending of the plots. Foillard now uses the 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 cellar is fairly unsophisticated. He buys one-year-old casks and uses them for 10 years, with the objective of keeping the wood in the background. He also has two foudres, one of which is over forty years old.