2018 Clos de La Roilette
showing very well, revealing an inviting bouquet of ripe cherries and cassis mingled with spices, violets and peonies. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, enveloping and layered, with fine-grained structuring tannins, ripe acids and a fleshy core of fruit. Gourmand and expressive, Coudert says the 2018 reminds him of his 2011, an analogy with which I concur. William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Aug 2019)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
This superstar estate is making wines that are simply a joy for canny Beaujolais lovers. The estate predates the creation of 'Fleurie' as an appelation and proudly carries the same label from the early 1900s. Rich, purple ruby red colour in the glass; violet and raspberry scented. The crisp, bright palate shows enticing spice and gorgeous red fruit flesh with texture and a smartly lifted finish.L&S(Sep 2019)
Looking over my past MoneyWeek recommendations, I noticed that this very wine, albeit the 2010 vintage, appeared on this page back in 2011. La Roilette is, without a doubt, one of my favourite red wines in the world. It ticks an amazing number of boxes, not least its epic flavour year in year out, its stunning value for money, its vast food and wine-matching skills, its popularity on the very best restaurant wine lists, giving all-comers a genuine place of refuge (often between the £40 and £50 mark, which is virtually impossible to find these days) and also the fact that it is one of the truly great Beaujolais. Clos de la Roilette, while situated in Fleurie, sits smack on the border of the Moulin-à-Vent appellation. It is named after a racehorse, Roilette, whose rather sketchy, donkey-like image is depicted on the label. Planted with vines aged between 30-80 years old this is, however, a thoroughbred wine and it manages to summon up both the floral beauty of a blushing Fleurie while possessing the deeper, throbbing, horsepower of a Moulin-à-Vent. This gives Roilette the rare attribute of drinking exceedingly well in its youth but also being able to hold on for an age, which is useful if odd bottles get mislaid in your cellar. I have stumbled across ten-year-old versions of this charming nag and they always taste incredible. Grab a case of this pedigree specimen and you will be amazed at the breeding on displayMatthew Jukes, Moneyweek(Nov 2019)
Shimmering violet. Highly perfumed dark berry and floral aromas are complemented by suggestions of exotic spices and minerals. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering black raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors that are given spine by a core of juicy acidity. In a seamless, energetic style, displaying a suave blend of richness and finesse and finishing gently sweet and impressively long, with well-knit tannins and lingering florality. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030 Rating: 93 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com(Oct 2019)
Clos de La Roilette
From a famous little corner of Fleurie, but ironically Fleurie does not dominate their iconic yellow labels, this is because the domaine was created before the Fleurie Appellation existed and still retains the exact same 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.
Unfortunately, the word "Beaujolais" has become all too readily attached to the word "Nouveau". There's nothing wrong with a bit of fun, and at its best the old Beaujolly Nouveau is fun with a party hat on. But there is a lot more to Beaujolais than young wines being raced across France in sports cars and fruity red wine with your breakfast. Those in the know are starting to purr appreciatively over the wines of the Beaujolais crus. These are the villages whose wines are good enough to be elevated above the generic Beaujolais name and have been given their own appellations. It's all Gamay, so bright crisp fruit is the story of the day, but there's more - there's a silky feel almost occasionally redolent of Pinot Noir and even an ability to improve with a little age. From the subtle delights of Fleurie to the gently peppered Morgon, albeit all on the light side, this is a case that will enhance any wine lovers cellar/wine rack/cupboard under the stairs.
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