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Clos de la Roilette Cuvee Tardive Fleurie 2018 (750ml)

Clos de la Roilette Cuvee Tardive Fleurie 2018 (750ml)

95 pts Wine Advocate
Coudert's brilliant 2018 Fleurie Cuvée Tardive offers up a deep and incipiently complex bouquet featuring raspberries, mulberries, rose petals, violets and cracked black pepper. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and layered, with an abundance of rich and powdery structuring tannins, ripe but lively acids and a long, lingering finish. While this is built for the long haul—its name alluding to the aging potential of this old-vine cuvée, not to a later harvest—its enveloping profile and perfectly mature phenolics will make it unusually approachable in its youth.

In the 1920’s, when the Fleurie appellation was first created, the former landowner was infuriated with losing the Moulin-à-Vent appellation under which the estate 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. To this day Clos de la Roilette is not perceived as just Fleurie but a grade above.

The owners, the Coudert family, feel that their particular terroir (mainly clay and manganese) and the age of their vines (30 to 80 years old) account for the richness and intensity of their wines. They are deeply colored, richly perfumed and seriously structured wines of relatively small production.

Despite what the name says, the Tardive cuvée from Coudert is a not a late harvest wine but rather a parcel of old vines. The Tardive is remarkable: many consider it one of the most profound and age worthy wines of Beaujolais.

The Cuvee Tardive is rich with a deep blackcurrant color and a hint of purple, a restrained nose of crème de cassis and a full mouth feel with notes of cassis and black cherries with a finish that displays a zesty acidity. This is a wine that will age gracefully and take on the aromatic character of a Pinot Noir.

A note on the 2017 vintage: Roilette lost 70% of their estate fruit due to damage from frost in April and from two hail storms during the summer. As a result, the estate fruit was partly destemmed for vinification. There was fruit purchased and used in the Fleurie and Cuvée Christie bottlings but the Tardive was maintained as estate-only fruit (thus the total production of it was even less than usual).

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