Get to know: Alain Coudert, Fleurie Clos de la Roilette
The best wines in Beaujolais come from the 10 'Crus.' These are individual appellations that each have their own personality and style formed by the terroir of the land. Fleurie is known as "The Queen of Beaujolais" and produces wines that are light and delicate with a fruity, floral aroma and silky texture. There is no Premier Cru classification (yet) in Fleurie, however if there were, this is the quality you would expect. A more serious and structured wine but thoroughly enjoyable with a finely reserved nose, very fruity, that evolves slowly from aromas of spiced plums, violet and raspberry to discreet notes of toasted spices and leather. There's a vibrant acidity and good intensity on the palate with a delicate, voluptuous, warm texture and just a little grip and touch of sweet chew to the finish. It is a wine in beautiful harmony.
This wine is very suitable for simply cooked meat dishes simmered with fresh vegetables from the garden.
The Clos de Roillette Brand was created in the 1920's after the creation of the Fleurie appellation left the owner up in arms over the loss of the Moulin-A Vent appellation classification that the region had previously been under. As a rebellious move they named the Clos after one of their racehorses with the same name (whose picture still appears on the label) and vowed not to sell a drop of this wine in France. By the mid-60's the owner lost interest in the Clos and abandoned it, only for it to be revived two years later by Fernand Coudert.
Coudert restored this 'sleeping beauty' and in 1987 passed it onto his son Alain Coudert, who operates the winery today. The wines of La Roilette are typically dark in colour and usually demand several years before reaching their best, however this wine is drinking well now. The wines here which are deep and spicy, taking on with age a character at times similar to that of a northern Burgundy, at others more reminiscent of a generous wine from the southern Rhone.