2011 Roilette Cuvee Tardive: A Powerful Statement

Posted by Joe Salamone

A Powerful Statement
2011 Clos de la Roilette Cuvée Tardive
The New Release of the Beaujolais Icon

If you want to know how profound, how ageworthy Beaujolais can be, Roilette's cuvée Tardive is the one to check out.

I've drank Roilette's Tardive going back to 98 and each year I'm more and more convinced that this is a special wine.

It's a wine that's so impressive, and so enjoyable, that there's a sense of discovery with each bottle.

Of course, that's the point of the wine. Roilette's owner, Alain Coudert, created Tardive as the anti-nouveau - a statement about the longevity and complexity Beaujolais can achieve when handled with respect and planted in a great terroir.

Coudert's statement has made a serious impression; his Roilette has become the cult Beaujolais.Every year, not only wine geeks, but also serious Burghounds line up to buy the Tardive.

For me, if I had to reduce my Beaujolais buying to a single wine, it would be Tardive.

I should mention that Tardive offers some of the best value that I know of - it clocks in under $25 per bottle.

Today, we're happy to offer Roilette's 2011 Tardive. This is a really remarkable edition of Tardive. I could go on about it, but let's just say that pretty much everyone I know who had the opportunity to taste it when Coudert was in town this spring has signed up for at least six bottles.

In 2011, Tardive has its classic profile of dark fruits (black cherries, mulberries, plums), olives, licorice, smoke, mint, a complex array of flowers and a meaty quality. The 2011 has round, vibrant fruit with a nice complementing freshness. If you think about a cross of 2009 and 2010 Tardive, you get a fairly accurate picture.

As the long description suggests, the Tardive is a seriously nuanced and layered wine. If such richness and intensity sounds unusual for Fleurie (generally thought to be one of the more delicate Beaujolais Crus), this is because Roilette is really more Moulin-à-Vent in terroir.

Dig your hands into the clay soils of Roilette's parcels and you'll find plenty of manganese, typical of Moulin-à-Vent. Check out the picture taken from the Couderts' home. Alain is eager to point out that the division between Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent begins at the tree line - the soils, however, are exactly the same.

Tardive comes from two parcels of eighty-year-old vines (Roilette's oldest) and their age certainly contributes much to the wine's regal grandeur and multifaceted internal architecture. Tardive is a wine that really flourishes in the cellar. Expect the 2011 blossom in 5-7 years.

What else can I say besides this is really recommended? There are few better values that I know of; there are few finds that make their statement so convincingly. And in doing so, give so much fascination and enjoyment. Beaujolais can be very good indeed.

To order, please e-mail us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits