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First Foillard & Inflorescence

November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving was an opportunity to crack open a few geeky bottles I’ve been meaning to try…a 2006 Foillard Morgon “Cote du Py” and Cedric Bouchard’s Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs “Val Vilaine” NV.

Cedric Bouchard grows (albiet with grapes purchased from his family estate) Champagnes like they are Grands Cru Burgundies – single vineyard, single-vintage, and single-variety. This is completely counter to the vast majority of the wine produced in the area, where “house style” and marquee comes before vintage, vineyard, grape, grower, etc. The Val Vilaine is a 100% Pinot Noir, from 1.5ha parcel, hand-harvested and finished non-dosage. Old skool.

The nose was very clean – bursting with orchard fruit, snappy red apples, and open up nicely with time into one of the bigger, more vinous Champagnes I’ve had. Wildflower gardens. No yeasty or tired funky flavors at all, and nothing to mask the honest fruit. Sensual and detailed, when I think about it – it had more of a sense of distance rather than of depth or length. Not sure exactly what that means, but it felt like I was moving through the wine rather than the reverse. This Champagne just slays – it might be a little ballsy for the hard-core Blanc-de-Blanc finesse freaks, but I really appreciated the style – body, big fruit, and perfect acidic grip.  I hope to celebrate holidays more often with wines of this quality…

Jean Foillard is currently at the top of the natural wine heap, following the lead of wine visionary Jules Chauvet. Foillard seems to be creating wines of great truth vintage by vintage – sometimes sublime, sometimes head-scratching. Check out guilhaume’s much more emotive and visual account of the vigneron and domaine. I hope to visit one day…

The 2006 Morgon started out  as a head-scratcher – actually a little disappointing in the first glass. It showed flat and soft, sort of scatter-brained – but hinting at earth and leather.  Something funky reminded me of Chateau Musar, but smallermaybe VA or brett, but I’m not gunna open that can of worms. But alas, this FOILLARD is a living wine, and it was a matter of time before the veil was lifted. Everything started to come into focus after about 3 hours – it gained focus, energy and balance – and started to dance. Whatever funky analogs to Musar faded – save for the savory umami-ness both wines seem to share.  It was still humming hours later. Happy red fruit, and layers of earth, stone, mineral, and spice boxes. Darker-toned and a heavier than the Lapierre 07 recently. It’s been some time since I’ve seen such a profound transformation in a bottle of wine. Had I been served the first glass and drank it quickly, I’d have no idea what treasures lurked.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric Pottmeyer permalink
    January 5, 2010 12:24 am

    That’s cool…but what about the bottle of Ovenroy/Houillon Arbois I see in the picture!
    P.S. Just drank some delicious 2004 C. Bouchard, Rose de Jean, Rose on New Years Day.

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