Fleurie Cuvée Tardive
100% Gamay. Being on the border of the Moulin-à-Vent cru, the core of Roilette’s Fleurie terroir is atypical of Fleurie, rich in clay and the mineral manganese instead of being all granite; the wines are thus more structured than many Fleurie wines. The oldest estate vines, at around 80 years old, go into the Cuvée Tardive bottling. It is the concentration and structure of the wine that gave rise to its “Tardive” or “late” moniker: it is not late-harvested fruit but rather the wine meant to be enjoyed later, with more aging in the bottle, versus the rest of the Roilette line-up.
As on the rest of the estate, the Tardive vines are farmed sustainably by lutte raisonnée and the soils worked by hand, only twice a year and very carefully in order to not do damage to roots of these old vines. The fruit is manually harvested and fermented in whole clusters with native yeasts, kicking off Roilette’s version of traditional Beaujolais semi-carbonic vinification. The temperature-controlled fermentation takes place in open-top neutral vats with the cap kept submerged; the maceration for Tardive is approximately 18 days. Aging takes place mainly in old foudres until bottling the following summer.
*2017 vintage note: Roilette lost 70% of their estate fruit due to damage from frost in April and from two hailstorms 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).