Our tasting impressions
Like many wines from Potel, the operative word here is transparency. This just screams out Morey. It offers excellent purity as well. The mainstream critics didn’t drool over the vintage, so we were able to acquire this 1er Cru for about the price of a village wine...and so can you! Great for near and mid-term drinking. Superb!
About this wine
Morey-St. Denis is not as well known as some of its Côte de Nuits neighbors but its expressions of Pinot Noir are distinct and as good as anywhere. A wine labeled just 1er Cru means the grapes came from multiple classified vineyards.
This 100% Pinot Noir is from vineyards planted 45-50 years ago in clay & limestone soil. The exposure is east and elevation 250 meters.
Grapes were handpicked on 9/13 and yields were a tiny 21 hl/ha. Fermentation was by native yeast. Aging was in oak barrels and bottling was on 4/27/16. 2,100 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
The winter was very mild and the growing season started early. A damp and chilly summer was rescued by a pleasant September. Lighter wines perhaps but the rule is well-balanced, tasty and approachable wines with fine terroir from capable hands.
On your table…
I suggest grilled quail and a not-too-sweet dark fruit sauce, accompanied by a nutty grain like farro or barley. Serve at cellar temperature.
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. Potel purchases large quantities of outstanding wines from the vintages 1959-2006 directly from the original producer. After extensive tasting to ensure the wines are 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.