There are a handful of great cru Beaujolais on the market with a number of primarily Morgon and Moulin à Vent producers dominating the scene every year. The Clos de la Roilette Fleurie is on my short list of just 2 producers I can't live without, Foillard being the other. This is one of the great domaines in the region and the only producer of Fleurie we prize this highly. The Clos de la Roilette occupies 9 hectares on the best hillside in Fleurie on the Moulin à Vent border in soils composed primarily of clay and manganese. This combination contributes to the richness of these wines according to Fernand and Alain Coudert, proprietors of the domaine. While I do find these wines to be extraordinarily rich, especially for gamay, I'm struck by this wine's complexity and lovely pinot noir like nose. Beaujolais of any stripe isn't the first thought that crosses my mind when tasting these wines. The 2012 starts with fresh cherry and raspberry notes mingled with a bit of woodsmoke and leather on the nose with a generous, mouthfilling texture and finishes with pure minerality and subtle, fine grained tannins. Great drinking now and a classic wine for the holiday table, even better after 3-5 years.
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The 2012 growing season was problematic from the get go with early frosts damaging vines, summer hailstorms wreaking even greater damage and end of season rains threatening the harvest. Most producers ended up losing over 50% of their crop but the wine that was made is outstanding. It has made these wines scarce, however, and we're limited to these 60 bottles.