Clos de la Roilette
Considered one of the finest producers in Beaujolais, Clos de la Roilette has 9 hectares in Fleurie, with one of the top slopes in all of the ten Beaujolais crus. The Clos has an eastern exposure, borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, and yields remarkably age-worthy Gamay. In the 1920’s, when the Fleurie appellation was first created, the former landowner was infuriated with losing the Moulin-à-Vent appellation under which the estate had previously been classified. He created a label using a photograph of his racehorse Roilette and used the name Clos de la Roilette, without mentioning Fleurie. By the mid-1960s, the owner’s heirs had lost interest in Roilette, and a large portion of the land had been allowed to go untended and wild. In 1967, Fernand Coudert bought this poorly maintained estate and replanted the vineyards. His son Alain joined him in 1984 and has been the winemaker since. The Couderts feel that their particular terroir (mainly clay and manganese) and the age of their vines (30 to 80 years old) account for the richness and intensity of their wines. They are deeply colored, richly perfumed and seriously structured wines of relatively small production.
It has a deep blackcurrant color with a hint of purple, a restrained nose of crème de cassis, a rich, full mouth with aromas of cassis, black cherries, and a nutty character, and finishes with zesty acidity. This is a wine that ages gracefully and takes on the aromatic character of a Pinot Noir. With the 1998 vintage, the Couderts introduced a new wine, Cuvée Christal, which is lighter and meant to drink younger. Also, a few vintages ago, they started a selection of old vines cuvée that is partially aged in older oak barrels. They call this Cuvée Tardive, meaning that it needs more aging time and has even greater longevity than the Clos cuvée.