2013 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie Cuvée Tardive
I have to confess that saying anything new about Roilette's Tardive feels impossible.
It's simply one of the wines that we're most fond of, that we put in our cellars each year in quantity.
There are few wines that are beloved by the entire staff the way that Tardive is. We're far from alone.
And this is for good reason. If you want to know how profound, how ageworthy Beaujolais can be, Roilette's Cuvée Tardive is the one to check out. That's always been the intention behind Tardive. 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.
Every time I look at the pricing, I'm stunned at the value that Tardive offers. Roilette's Tardive is without a doubt one of the greatest deals out there, especially when you factor in the ageability. Tardive can easily age for a decade.
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. Clos de la Roilette is situated right on the border of Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent, which produces Beaujolais' deepest, most complex and ageworthy wines. Alain Coudert 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.
The hallmarks of Tardive are meatiness, dark fruits (black cherries, mulberries, plums), olives, licorice, smoke, mint, and an array of floral notes. This is all to say that Tardive delivers more than its fair share of complexity. With some bottle age, this complexity really starts to shine through. Few Beaujolais are able to offer such profundity.
Tardive is a remarkably consistent wine. In some vintages, it may show a more meaty, olive-y kinship with the Rhône. Or, in a vintage like 2013, it may show a more cherry-led Burgundy profile. The 2013 vintage was a difficult one with yields way down. The young wines offer plenty of freshness and good concentration. It's very early in the game, but all the elements seem to be in place for a really good edition of Tardive.
There's probably no reason to continue. Tardive's track record (and value) speaks for itself.
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