Our tasting impressions
An amazing display of young Pinot Noir from old vines. It needs air (or cellar time) to fill and lengthen out. The tannins are formidable presently, but you can plainly see why Suchots in the right hands is considered Grand Cru worthy.
About this wine
Vosne wines are considered the pinnacle of red Burgundy. Suchots (which sits next to Romanée Saint Vivant) when done right is capable of Grand Cru quality.
100% Pinot Noir from the Premier Cru vineyard of Les Suchots. Potel owns vines in Suchots but the harvest in 2016 was meager, so he purchased grapes from another plot. The wine was made exactly as he does with his estate cuvées.
Forty percent of the grapes are de-stemmed and the rest are left whole cluster. Macération is done over a few days. Fermentation is 20-25 days in steel tanks and old oak barrels at 32°C. This is done in the dark to maximize the healthy stilbenoids resveratrol and piceatannol. A vertical press is used on the must. The vats are emptied by gravity. Aging is in oak barrels (used 1-3 times) for more than a year.
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 very challenging vintage due to frost and hail. Production was sharply down - but as is often the case - resulted in very concentrated wines.
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.