2019 Clos de La Roilette
Bottled only a week before I tasted it, Alain Coudert's 2019 Fleurie from the Clos de la Roilette is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of rose petals, red cherries, raspberries, spices and orange rind. Medium to full-bodied, deep and velvety, it's elegant and fine-boned, with lively acids, refined structuring tannins and a long, perfumed finish. Readers who gravitate toward classical styles of Beaujolais will prefer the 2019 to the richer, more gourmand 2018, but both are lovely vintages for this reference-point address. Drinking range: - 2039 Rating: 94 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (May 2020)
*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.
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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