TN: 2021 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie

I’m just starting to taste 2021 Beaujolais; first the Richard Rottiers wines from Moulin-à-Vent (disclaimer: I represent those wines here in Ontario) and now Roilette and so far, so very delicious.

I poured the '19 and '20 Fleurie en magnum BTG at my last wine director gig, and they were both tasty - but clocked in at 14.2% and 14.8%(!) ABV respectively.

This is back to pure, transparent, joyful Beaujolais. Beautiful and juicy red fruits, with a dash of spice and enticing florals, all in that mid-range of the EQ. The palate is silky and utterly enticing, with fresh, lively acid and just a dash of powdery tannin to provide a touch of structure. Not dilute in the least - the label says 13% alcohol and that feels about right; this is a nice medium-bodied example of Cru Beaujolais terroir that may have been slightly obscured in recent vintages. No, this won’t make the longest hauler, but it’s irresistible now.

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My experience with the straight Fleurie from vintages one might predict won’t age is that prediction is pretty much wrong. So if history is any lesson, 20 years is not a problem, and the wine may very well be even better then.

An example from last summer:

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Great note. Would love to hear about the Rottiers as well.

Thanks for the note! Just purchased my first 2021s (Godefroy and Chapelle from Thivin and Foillard’s Côte du Py) and am really looking forward to experiencing the region’s return to a more classic and refreshing style.

I’d tried the '20 Roilette and like it a lot. Bought two '21 Roilette Cuvee Tardive. Any suggestions if it’d be even better?

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I agree, 100%, Jason. And if anything, I would expect the lower ABV vintages to mature more gracefully.

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I have a bunch of 2021 tardives arriving so this is great to hear. I generally avoid the base version. Always found it to be lacking vs the tardive and just a few dollars less.

I can never age these. I drink them way too fast.

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Almost assuredly - the 21 Tardive is a real throw back to cooler times, lots of soil tones and the trademark purity of fruit that Roilette does oh so well.

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Roilette is almost always a sure bet for Fleurie pleasures. I highly recommend stashing some for 5-15 year explorations, they really can age very well in more structured vintages. Two of the better wines I had sometime in 2018 were a 1999 Regnie and a 2001 Fleurie (from J-M. Burgaud, a Morgon producer) - I think the notion that the “lighter” Crus of Beaujolais can’t age is a bit nonsense. Moreso producer dependent.

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Tasted a 19 last night. Thought I got a hint of brett. is there horse in the horse?

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I don’t really want this to age! That’s what the tardive is for and to me, the point of this wine is the fresh delicious fruit.

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The 2020s from Rottiers were quite intense - his house style has a savoury bent and is sort of pinot-lover’s Beaujolais and that was amplified in the 2020s. The single-vineyard Moulin-à-Vent wines even moreso, and quite structured; reminiscent of the Lafarge-Vial wines and definitely built for the cellar.

The 2021s are so floral, high-toned and pretty, though fans of the 2020s might have whiplash. The Beaujolais-Villages clocks in at 11%(!) ABV but still has just a touch of that savoury thing, and all the wines through the range are very much in that register, with the Brouilly and Moulin-à-Vent just a little further along that spectrum but even the MaV is just 12.5%.

It’s very cool to see the expression of two wildly different vintages and still have an identifiable winemaking signature (and delicious wines).

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Fantastic, thank you! I bought some 2020 Rottiers Moulin-à-Vent Dernier Souffle for the cellar so this is welcome information. I also bought some 2018 Rottiers Moulin-à-Vent Champ de Cour - any thoughts on the 2018s? Thanks again.

I finally got around to trying Rottiers last night - the 2020 Richard Rottiers Moulin-à-Vent Dernier Souffle. Hoo-boy was this delicious. From a vineyard planted in granite rocks near a cemetery, hence the ghostly name; 60-year-old vines, partial carbonic, six months elevage in used oak. Purple, violets, rich and sweet red fruit with lovely balance and tension. Drained quickly - good thing I bought a case! (cheap at about $20)

Thanks again for the information.

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