Clos de La Roilette

France, Beaujolais

From a famous little corner of Fleurie, but ironically the word 'Fleurie' does not dominate their iconic yellow labels, this is because the domaine was created before the Fleurie Appellation existed and the label still retains the original, classic design! In fact up until 1926 the vineyard owners felt they were in Moulin a Vent and were a little disappointed to be put in to the 'new-fangled' Fleurie appellation, The soils here are an unusual mix of manganese and clay, this gives wines with more structure and power than most Fleuries. This wine is named after a favourite racehorse 'La Roilette' owned by a previous owner of the farm in the early 1900s. This is why the unchanged label from the 1920s carries the silhouette of a horse's head. The Couderts own the largest part of this old estate, and pick from old vines at maximum maturity to make fully coloured wines with great juicy richness. They are without doubt one of the finest domaines in the Beaujolais.

Located just across a small valley from Moulin-à-Vent and with similar soils, Clos de la Roilette is one of the most reliable producers of complex, age-worthy Beaujolais. The wines tend to be deeper and more structured than most Fleuries, but they’re also energetic and detailed, which makes them highly appealing on release. The fruit is fermented mostly with whole clusters, with semi-carbonic maceration in large, open-top wooden tanks and concrete vats, and no added yeasts. Aging is often brief, in neutral oak casks, mostly foudres. Bottling occurs without fining or filtration and with just a touch of added sulfur. Unsurprisingly, Coudert’s 2019s show more vivacity than their 2018 siblings, but the latter are hardly shy. These wines have a strong presence in restaurants across France, from simple bistros to three-star gastronomic temples. Prices are extremely reasonable for the quality. From Changing Perspectives in Beaujolais (Aug 2021) by Josh Raynolds Josh Raynolds,  (Aug 2021)

“Alain Coudert’s Clos de la Roilette is a longtime favorite Fleurie producer whose wines should not be overshadowed by newer, more faddish names.” Eric Asimov, New York Times  (Aug 2016)