Clos de la Roilette, Cuvée Tardive 2011 Fleurie


From €13.80, £15, $21.90, Ca$27.95

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I'm in love. I really find it difficult to express quite how firmly up my boulevard this cru beaujolais from a well-established producer is. Go, go, and invest heavily in 2011 Beaujolais! (See my nearly 100 tasting notes More 2011 Beaujolais and Lovely Beaujolais, 2011 and back, and there are some Berry Bros selections to come.)

Alain Coudert's nine hectares of particularly well sited, east-facing slopes are on the border of Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent and, as New York importer Louis Dressner explains in this illuminating profile, the old owner was furious to find that his land had been assigned to the Fleurie side. Certainly the wine is nothing like the lighter expressions of Fleurie and has far more in common in terms of substance with many a Moulin-à-Vent. (The photograph of Alain Coudert mit bottles comes from the Louis Dressner website and was taken by Alex Finberg.)

The Cuvée Tardive is a special bottling of the produce of older Gamay vines, partially aged in large old oak and designed to be drunk after the principal bottling – but actually it is so fluid, so mouthwatering, and so beautifully scented and jam packed with fruit that it is extremely difficult to resist now. You could drink it with or without food. With baguette, good unsalted butter and saucisson it would be divine. My tasting note:

Clos de la Roilette, Cuvée Tardive 2011 Fleurie 17 Drink 2012-18
This is stunning. Quite dark crimson. Unlike so much Beaujolais, it smells of really intense, ripe Gamay and has real mineral (granite?) bite. It's ridiculously gulpable already but clearly has a great future too. Not a hint of hasty fermentation. Freshness and fruitiness incarnate. Yum, yum, yum. 13%

Beaujolais at all quality levels but particularly at this top end is ridiculously underpriced. Specialist fine burgundy importers Domaine Direct of London N1 are currently listing it at £15 a bottling including VAT in the UK (so long as you buy at least a dozen bottles, which can be mixed).

It is also available in Germany, Belgium, Canada and particularly widely in the US – including in handsome magnums and double magnums – perfect for a party! Though not, according to, in France. The profile suggests why.

I do hope you like it as much as I do. It is top-quality Beaujolais incarnate. I urge you to take full advantage of the fact that Beaujolais has had three good vintages in a row (2009, 2010 and 2011) and that prices are out of all proportion, in a good way, to the quality. Purple Pagers can find hundreds of tasting notes here.

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