2012 Roilette Fleurie Griffe du Marquis
Rare and for the Long-Haul
Roilette's wines are some of the most profound and ageworthy Beaujolais around.
The way that their Fleuries transform in the bottle has attracted a cult following from wine geeks to blue chip collectors. There may be no better example of how ageworthy and complex Beaujolais can be than what Roilette produces.
Griffe du Marquis is always in short supply, but in 2012 the quantities available are excruciatingly small. Roilette's production was down 50%.
Since the 2009 vintage, Roilette has been producing a new cuvée, Griffe du Marquis. When it comes to structure and complexity, Griffe du Marquis quickly proved to be the equal of their beloved cuvée Tardive.
This shouldn't come as a surprise. The source of Griffe du Marquis is the same two parcels of eighty-year-old vines bordering Moulin-à-Vent that go into Tardive. The only difference is that Griffe du Marquis spends time in old Burgundy barrels instead of the foudre that the Tardive is briefly aged in.
Griffe du Marquis is easily one of the most impressive renditions of Beaujolais that we've encountered. There's a layered clarity to it and, above all, a sense of lift. Out of the three vintages that we've tasted, the 2012 has a touch more elegance and may reveal a more formidable structure.
The 2012 Griffe du Marquis shows the incredible range of flavors that Roilette teases out of the Gamay grape. It delivers bright cherry fruit that gives way to flowers and a savory, salty, meaty minerality with hints of smoke and spice.
Roilette's line-up was very strong in 2012. The vintage is far from uniform in Beaujolais, but for the producers who succeeded, like Roilette, Métras and Foillard to name a few, we really like the wines. They managed to strike a simple, but elusive, equation: there's concentration, clarity and length. Griffe du Marquis stands as a prime example of the rigor, verve and intensity that the vintage can deliver.
This is something to stash in your cellar and watch evolve for the next 8-10 years or more. Roilette's Fleuries are some of our favorite Beaujolais. Every vintage, the entire staff stuffs their cellars with the wines. I wish there were more Griffe du Marquis, but I'm always happy to take whatever I can get.
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