• The Clos de la Roilette Fleurie:  Cuvée Tardive & Griffe du Marquis

    The Clos de la Roilette Fleurie: Cuvée Tardive & Griffe du Marquis

    The opportunity to taste the best of Cru Beaujolais with age is, unfortunately, a rare treat. By nature, the juicy and supremely approachable Gamay-based wines are most commonly opened within a year of their release. 31 tables at the Rainbow Room for a La Paulée Verticals Tasting were filled with the best of Burgundy - RoumierLafon,RousseauMugneret-GibourgD'Angerville, and one sole Cru Beaujolais: the Clos de la Roilette of Fleurie.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the two top wines of the domaine, the 2017 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie Cuvée Tardive and the 2016 Griffie Du Marquis. Both complete with a small group of magnums.

    The wines of the Coudert family are best known for their unrivaled complexity and track record of aging brilliantly. Set alongside Burgundy's most elite at La Paulée, the chance to taste different vintages side-by-side was a great reminder that the best of Cru Beaujolais greatly rewards the patient.

    The story of Roilette's evolution in a fascinating one. The vineyards were historically classified as Moulin-à-Vent, and its owners proud of that designation. But, in the 1920's districts were re-drawn and the Fleurie appellation was created. This new-found appellation required to adorn labels enraged the owner of the Clos de Roilette. Instead of printing Fleurie in large text across the center of the label he chose to use a photo of his racehorse, and refused to sell his wines in France, exporting 100% of his production to neighboring countries.

    In 1967 ownership had changed hands, and this now largely untended vineyard went into the thoughtful control of Fernand Coudert. Today, the wines are widely regarded as the benchmark of not only Fleurie, but the entire Beaujolais region.

    The border of Moulin-à-Vent and Fleurie where the estate is located is home to clay-dominant vineyards. Whereas most of Beaujolais is on granite, the clay and manganese soils of Roilette give a darker and richer expression of Gamay. Blue and black fruits are abundant in all of the estate's wines. 

    The Cuvée Tardive is the top wine of the estate, aged in large foudre. It's sourced from the oldest vines, 80-90 years in age. In each passing year the Tardive shows increasing elegance and begins to more closely resemble Pinot Noir. In blind tastings many times Beaujolais with 10+ years is nearly indistinguishable from Burgundy.At under $40 per bottle this wine personifies the value available in Cru Beaujolais.

    The Griffe du Marquis is the rare breed in this stable. It is sourced from vines planted in the 1930's and was first seen with the 2009 vintage. Aged exclusively in smaller Burgundy barrels, of which age ranges between 2 to 6 years. As compared to Cuvée Tardive, the Griffe du Marquis has a greater sense of levity and brightness, and a tannin profile that is a a bit more fine.

    The Fleurie is the most approachable wine of the trio upon release, and taps 30-45 yr-old vines. Aged in large foudre.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen