75cl * 13% ABV * Beaujolais, France
The Clos de la Roilette, in the village of Fleurie, covers nine hectares of one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais, but ironically the name Fleurie does not dominate their iconic yellow labels. This is because when the Fleurie appellation was first established in the 1920s, the then owner of Clos de la Roilette was shocked to find that his wine had been removed from the Moulin-à-Vent appellation and placed, irrevocably as we now know, in Fleurie. In high dudgeon he vowed never to sell his wine in France again! He also never mentioned the name Fleurie on the bottle (although it does appear there now) and put a picture of his favourite racehorse on the label instead!
This deeply fruited wine is a culmination of some careful vinification. The vines tend to between 35-45 years old and each bunch of fruit is hand harvested and whole-bunch fermented to capture as much of natural air-borne yeasts as possible. On the nose there's damson, cherry and raspberry with a hint of spice, followed by more woodland fruit, spice and dark mocha chocolate on the palate. There's a gentle building of intensity that stays balanced throughout the glass. This is a really good Beaujolais, Fleurie or not!