Our tasting impressions
Judge this too hastily and you will miss out on a special wine. Initially it seemed demure even advanced. I wondered if there was sufficient fruit, given that it still had oak to integrate. A couple of days later, wow! It is livelier, fruitier with no protruding oak. An exceptional, maturing white Burgundy that already has outlived any concern about premature oxidation.
About this wine
Despite having no Grand Cru vineyards, Meursault is considered one of the big 3 Chardonnay appellations of the Côte de Beaune. The 1er Cru vineyard Charmes is in the southern portion and is one of the best (maybe top 3).
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety in the world - and in the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adapt to many different production techniques. Grown everywhere, Chardonnay’s greatest expressions are widely believed to come from Burgundy. Indeed, this is believed to be where the grape originated. Chablis, in Northern Burgundy and Champagne also offer superlative examples of Chardonnay.
About the vintage
Quite a warm year and very dry. Grapes were certainly ripe but there was ample acidity. The result was forceful wines capable of long life.
Roche de Bellene was established in 2008 by Nicolas Potel. It is a diversified and global wine production and trading company. The company includes Domaine de Roche Bellene, which offers wines from estate owned vineyards in 10 different Côte d’Or appellations.
Maison Roche de Bellene is the company’s négociant arm. Potel and his team source grapes from respected and consistent sources throughout the Côte d’Or. All are very old vines from which Roche de Bellene produces white and red wines. Another part of the Maison operation is the Bellenum Collection. Potel purchases collections of outstanding wines from the vintages 1959-2006. After ensuring the quality, he rebottles these treasures before making them available for purchase.
Nico is the son of the legendary Volnay producer, Gerard Potel. In addition to learning “at home,” he trained at excellent estates in Australia, California and Burgundy. Potel is widely respected by his peers for his remarkable wine production talents, as well as his keen sense for sourcing grapes and wines.