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.
Notes of leather, wood smoke, and forest floor mingling with the ripe cherry and raspberry in the nose signal that something more complex and mysterious is under foot than you will experience in all but a tiny fraction of Gamay-based wine. Generous juiciness on the palate is allied to a slightly grainy, palpable sense of extract and fine-grained tannin, while notes of toasted nut, raw beef, moss, and wet stones well up and add complexity to the wine’s long finish.
Review of the 2010 vintage:
“Soothing in texture yet refreshing in finish, it will be a delight over at least the next couple of years. Coudert’s 2010 Fleurie - what he refers to, but does not label as his “cuvee classique,” and in this instance bottled already in February, 2011 - delivers a succulently stimulating abundance of freshly ripe dark berries, licorice, and nut oils tinged with nutmeg as well as with smoky suggestions of peat and tobacco familiar from wines of this property. This is another of those 2010s managing to soothe texturally while retaining a brightness and tart-edged cut that reflect the firm, late-ripened fruit of this vintage. Look for this long, handsome Fleurie to perform well for at least the next 2-3 years. 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.” 90 Points.
WA # 196 (Aug 2011)
View from the Cellar review of 2009 vintage:
“Monsieur Coudert has produced two of the most beautiful young bottles of Beaujolais as I have ever tasted with his two ’09 bottlings from the Clos de la Roilette. As readers may recall from the in-depth Beaujolais report that appeared way back in Issue Eight, this estate lies on the northern edge of Fleurie right along the Moulin-à-Vent border and was sold in the first few decades of the twentieth century as Moulin-à-Vent, rather than as Fleurie. The 2009 Clos de la Roilette is perfectly ripe (coming in at thirteen percent alcohol) and utterly pure, as it soars from the glass in a beautiful bouquet of black cherries, pomegranate, sweet cranberries, a gentle smokiness, lovely spice tones, a hint of nutskin, complex soil tones and a bit of fresh thyme in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and utterly seamless, with a rock solid core of fruit, great intensity of flavor, a bit of ripe tannin, lovely vibrancy and simply stunning grip on the very long, primary and dancing finish. The 2009 Clos de la Roilette will be completely approachable right out of the blocks, but it will be a crime to drink this wine before it has had at least a couple of years of cellaring to allow it to develop some further layers of complexity. Just a magical young wine. 2012-2040. 95+ Points.”
-John Gilman, View From The Cellar, Jul/Aug, 2010