Our tasting impressions
I dubbed this the Happy Wine! Even for the open and gentle wines of the vintage, this wine was uncommonly inviting and delicious. It will be tough to keep our hands off it. It likely won’t make old bones (the same was said about 2000 but many are still terrific) but who cares if it’s this good now!
About this wine
Gevrey-Chambertin, in the Northern end of Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits might be its best known and most popular appellation for Pinot Noir. This village wine is from vineyards planted 45-60 years ago in clay & limestone soil. The exposure is east/southeast and elevation 260 meters.
Grapes were handpicked on 9/10-15 and yields were 40 hl/ha. Fermentation was by native yeast. Aging was in oak barrels (10% new). Malolactic fermentation was done and bottling took place on 12/10/18. About 9,200 bottles were produced.
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.
About the vintage
A bountiful crop was welcome after the major decline of the previous year. The Pinot Noir was generally, fruity, reasonably acidic and gentle in tannins.
On your table
A fun and lively wine like this deserves a playful accompaniment. Try it with the famous Italian hoagie of roast pork, provolone and broccoli rabe. Don’t forget the fries and make sure the wine is at cool cellar temp.
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.