Jean Foillard and the Foillard Cote du Py are icons of French wine. From 1985 he followed Marcel Lapierre and Jules Chauvet into the depth of ‘natural’ Beaujolais. The wines are compelling but worthy of time in the cellar. Don’t think, just buy, the Foillard Cote du Py never hangs around for long. Kermit Lynch’s profile on Foillard.
Outside of Morgon, Fleurie appears to have the greatest concentration of good producers. And with particularly fine terroir, Fleurie is another great source of Cru Beaujolais. “Fleur,” of course, means “flower” in French, and indeed the wines of Fleurie are characterized by a distinct floral note – think violets.
Most famous for aromatic, light of body, high acid reds made from the Gamay variety. There is a Burgundian sensibility on Rhone soil types which makes for an interesting style. The quality wines are refreshingly tart with aromatic complexity and enough fruit weight to balance out the tartness. You do have the option of cellaring your quality Beaujolais but often it is not required. The best wines are in the 10 Crus of the region with the lesser appellations being akin to an ocean in more ways than one. Whites from Chardonnay are available but hard to find.
Grown in the French regions of Beaujolais and Loire Valley. It is early budding, high cropping, aromatic and high acid. Once outlawed from Burgundy by Duke Philippe the Bold for being disloyal. But has no doubt made up for that with honourable service. The best wines from Gamay can be Burgundian in flavour and well worth seeking out. Often they are exceptionally good value too.