White, Ready, but will keep

2012 St Romain Blanc, Vieilles Vignes Domaine de Bellene

2012 St Romain Blanc, Vieilles Vignes Domaine de Bellene

White | Ready, but will keep | Domaine de Bellene | Code: 18907 | 2012 | France > Burgundy > Cote de Beaune > St Romain | Chardonnay | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Domaine de Bellene

Domaine de Bellene

While running Maison Nicolas Potel in Nuits St Georges, Nicolas Potel set up his négociant company in 1997, the year after his father’s death and the sale of Domaine de la Pousse d’Or which Gérard Potel had been managing. Though his own business was taken over by the Cottin brothers of Maison Labouré-Roi in 2004, Nicolas continued to run the operation until 2009 while looking out for vineyard land of his own. In 2005 he was able to buy some vineyards (the former Domaine Carementrant, in Beaune) though the 2005 and 2006 crops were included in his négociant operation, then bottled as Domaine Nicolas Potel for 2007. The concern has been renamed Domaine de Bellene from the 2008 vintage onwards.
 
From the 2007 vintage Domaine Potel has been up and running in some marvellous old cellars, renovated to an ecologically admirable standard (‘Haute Qualité Environnementale'), on the Dijon road out of Beaune. Including some farming contracts, the domaine now comprises 22 hectares as below. The vineyards are being converted to organic farming, with some biodynamic elements.

Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.

The Grape

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

The Region

St Romain

St Romain

Until 1947 St Romain was part of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune, the vineyards being set back from the main Côte and mostly at higher elevation (around 300 to 400 metres above sea-level). But there is enough class in the mineral white wines (which make up two-thirds of production), and charm in the lightish reds in a warm year that the village is worthy of its own appellation, covering just 98 hectares. The best wines offer remarkable value.
Recommended producer: Alain Gras

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