Considered one of the most admired producers in Fleurie, Clos de la Roilette, in the village of Fleurie, covers nine hectares of one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus. The clos has an eastern exposure, borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, and produces wines that are beautiful when young and have the capacity to age for over 10 years.
In the 20’s, when the Fleurie appellation was first created, the former landowner was infuriated with losing the Moulin-à-Vent appellation under which the clos 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 the clos and a large portion of the land had gone wild and untended. 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 say their particular terroir (mainly clay and manganese), and the age of their vines (25 to 33 years-old) account for the richness of their wine. It has a deep 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.
Despite what the name says, the Tardive cuvee from Coudert is a not a late harvest wine but rather a parcel of old vines. The Tardive is remakarkable, many consider it one of the most profound and ageworthy wines of Beaujolais.
Review of the 2010 vintage:
“Coudert’s 2010 Fleurie Cuvee Tardive had been bottled for only a week when I tasted it, but was showing no traits I could conceive of ascribing to bottle shock. Fresh blackberry and purple plum; nut oils and burley tobacco are accompanied by a mouthwatering maritime saline and alkaline suffusion and rich savor of lobster shell reduction. Abundant though finely-distributed tannin precludes the soothing texture of this cuvee’s little brother, but there is enhanced vivacity and cut that also translates into a long, saliva-inducing finish. Follow it for the next half dozen years. (Tasted alongside, the confitured character of the 2009 is striking, as is its abundance of tannins.) Alain Coudert - for more about whom and about whose Clos de la Roilette, consult my report in issue 184 - harvested his 2010s already in the third week of September.” 91 Points.
Wine Advocate #196 (Aug 2011)