I Continue to Kick Myself for not Drinking More of This
Allow me to put on my Matt Kramer hat on for a second while I wax on a true ‘gout de terroir,’ Jean Foillard’s ’07 Morgon Cote de Py.
It is no secret that the price of village level Burgundy fetches you the crème de la cru of Beaujolais, but when it comes to making a selection I’m faced w/ a familiar dilemma. Which one should I buy? 30 dollar Beaujolais is the type of investment that few are comfortable making, and I include myself into that mix. As luck shall have it, an opportunity arose to taste the one of the big boys for myself. In my palate I trust.
The first thing that stuck me about this Morgon was its sense of authenticity and breed. What immediate irony we have here. While its aromas speak more of the earth and imagined origin than any mere fruit descriptors, there was a bright red fruit component more in line w/ a pomegranate than any customary Pinot Noir cherry. The vivid entry turned over to a spicy core of black pepper, rocky soils & chalk dust, buttressed by an indescribable hearty component that beefed up the spine. While hardly stout in terms of its body, the minerality swelled in jagged edges, providing raw presence over power. The 2 or 3 opportunities I’ve had to taste fine bottle aged Beaujolais have given me enough faith that a few more years in the cellar will unlock another door or two, 92 points.
Now, allow me to quickly justify my stupidity for not drinking wines like this more often. Let’s talk superficial judgments.
Its price isn’t the only element stacked against it. The fancy schmancy label reeks of real Burgundy envy, topped off with a red tipped wax capsule of ‘cult-like’ pretension. The back of the bottle doesn’t get any better, unless you can think of a positive connotation to associate w/ Kermit Lynch importing the stuff. Just another way to dress up the ugly baby…the harder you try to prop up the pricy plonk, the more pathetic it seems. Of course, re-inventing the Beaujolais wheel can’t without commercial growing pains. Good thing I’m not in Foillard’s marketing department, as all I’ve got to offer is scathing commentary, sans constructive alternatives.
All that said, the superficial bias of this bottle isn’t nearly as difficult a mountain to climb as the ignoble label of its appellation (much less its dearly departed variety, exiled from the hallowed soils of the north). The one compliment I’ve got to give the packaging is that the dreaded ‘B word’ is nowhere to be found on the label, and that praise is more directed towards the French A.O.C. than team Foillard. So great, it isn’t labeled as Beaujolais, but what the hell is a Morgon Cote du Py? Maybe the Burgundy guys buy this stuff and are as versed in Beaujolais terroir as they are in the Cote de Nuits. Perhaps it’s much ado about nothing…maybe the premium Beaujolais business is booming. Marketing snafus aside, if pricy Beaujolais consistently delivers these types of goods, shame on me for buying cheap imitations of a more noble kind.
*Photo courtesy of cherriesandclay.com