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Fou des Fous

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Damien Coquelet has Beaujolais in his veins. Stepson of renowned natural Beaujolais producer Georges Descombes, he began working in the family’s vineyards and cellars when he was five and has been making his own wines since 2007, when he was 20. His juicy Morgons, more immediately accessible than his stepfather’s, and silky Chiroubles are well-nigh irresistible and his Beaujolais-Villages can stand comparison with the best.

Three years ago, Coquelet was visiting La QV, the agency that respresents him here in Quebec, when he flipped over some organic charcuterie made by Fou du Cochon in La Pocatière. A summit of artisans ensued and, shepherded by La QV’s head honcho, Cyril Kérébel, the idea for Fou du Beaujo was born: an easy-drinking vin de soif, the kind of wine we all wish Beaujolais nouveau would be, designed expressly to go with saucissons and terrines. After experiencing both Fous together at Foodlab last night, I can confirm it’s a marriage made in heaven.

The first Fou du Beaujo vintage, the 2009, and maybe the second were sold exclusively in Quebec. But good things are hard to keep a lid on and the wine is now also found in Japan, Germany and, reportedly, select bistros in France. Rumours are also circulating of an impending arrival in the U.S.

Beaujolais 2011, Fou du Beaujo, Damien Coquelet ($19.25, La QV, 12 bottles/case)
A blend of organically farmed Gamay from several Coquelet parcels (all in Morgon in 2010). Fermented with native yeasts. Like Beaujolais nouveau, it undergoes semi-carbonic maceration. Unlike Beaujolais nouveau, it is overwintered in concrete vats before being bottled in May or June with no filtering, fining or added sulphur. 12.5% ABV.
The dictionary definition of natural Beaujolais could have this as its illustration. Red and black berries and maybe some violets over an earthy/slatey bass note. A whiff of barnyardy funk quickly blows off (carafe the wine for half an hour if that sort of thing bothers you). Light-bodied and fluid with ripe, tangy fruit, a faint tannic rasp, fat-cutting acidity and a hint of something darker and more minerally in the background. Ends on a tart, vine-sappy note that has you lifting the glass for another mouthful. Serve lightly chilled.

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Written by carswell

November 16, 2012 at 15:49

3 Responses

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  1. […] an old-vine Chiroubles, a Morgon, a Beaujolais-Villages and the wildly popular, semi-nouveau Fou du Beaujo. This 100% Gamay is made from organically farmed, manually harvested grapes. Fermented with […]

  2. […] an old-vine Chiroubles, a Morgon, a Beaujolais-Villages and the wildly popular, semi-nouveau Fou du Beaujo. This 100% Gamay is made from organically farmed, manually harvested grapes. Fermented with […]

  3. […] Coquelet’s Beaujolais-Villages “Fou du Beaujo” has long been a Mo’ Wine Group favourite. At the second tasting, the 2012 ($22.43, private import, La QV/Insolite, NLA) and 2014 ($19.20, […]


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