Our tasting impressions
While it might lack all of the ripe, luscious fruit of the prior vintage, this magnificent village Vosne doubles down on balance and depth. Another outstanding 2016 from Potel that I expect will effortlessly and gracefully move from strength to strength.
About this wine
The wines of Vosne-Romanée are the most coveted in Burgundy's Côte d'Or. They are prized for their complexity and exotic spice flavors and aromas.
Potel acquires his grapes from an almost half hectare plot at 250m elevation with an eastern exposure. The vines were planted 50-60 years in soil of clay and limestone.
The manual harvest occurred on 9/30 to yields of only 26hl/ha. The juice was vinified with native yeast then stored in oak barrels, of which 40% were new. About 2,000 bottles were made with filtering but no fining was on 6/19/18.
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.
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.