Our tasting impressions
A stellar young Burgundy. I'm amazed how well it is drinking. Poppingly bright, pure fruit. Nice structure. Hard to perceive the tannins. The bottle (or glass) can hardly contain the exuberance of this wine. No doubt, there are even more interesting things in store but resisting the youthful charms of this 1er cru beauty could be a fool's errand.
About this wine
The premier cru vineyard of Toussaints (almost 6.5ha)is in the middle of Beaune, just north of the Village. It sits at a favorable elevation and has a nicely steep slope. Potel's grapes are acquired from a plot less than a 1/4ha planted 55 years ago in clay and limestone soil at 260m with a southeast exposure
The manual harvest occurred on 9/19 to a yield of 40hl/ha. The juice was vinified with native yeast then stored in oak barrels, of which only 10% were new. Bottling without fining or filtration was on 3/8/21. Only 500 bottles were made.
About the grape
Pinot Noir is an ancient grape from eastern France. Notoriously challenging, it thrives in cooler climates. The concept of terroir is most closely identified with Burgundy because the lightness of Pinot Noir enables it to so transparently express minor differences (which is why experienced tasters can discern the difference in wines produced from vineyards in very close proximity). Intense popularity resulted in plantings all over the world but most agree that its finest expression is in the Côte d’Or of Burgundy.
Nicolas' view of the vintage
The 2019 vintage confirms the climatic upheaval we have known since the beginning of this century. The start of the vegetative cycle occurred early. The buds began their growth in the third week of March, exposing the vine to a high risk of spring frosts. April was very hot, allowing rapid growth of the vines. At the very beginning of June, the first flowers appeared. The summer was marked by two heat waves in mid-June and mid-July causing significant water stress. Rainfall in August allowed the vines to recover and veraison began in early August. We began harvesting on September 14 and finished on September 25. The grapes, of very high quality and maturity.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
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 Collection Bellenum. In the first decade of the 2000’s, Potel began purchasing large quantities of outstanding wines from the personal cellars of 26 domaines, starting with 1959. A wine must be at least 10 years old to be included in this special collection. After extensive tasting to ensure the wines were sound and of high-quality, he offers them with his label. Some of the corks will reveal the seminal source.
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.