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2011 Montagny, 1er Cru, Maison Roche de Bellene

2011 Montagny, 1er Cru, Maison Roche de Bellene

White | Drink now | Maison Roche de Bellene | Code:  16964 | 2011 | France > Burgundy > Cote Chalonnaise > Montagny | Chardonnay | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Maison Roche de Bellene

Maison Roche de Bellene

Nicolas Potel decided to set up his own négociant business after the death of his father in 1996 and the subsequent sale of Domaine Pousse d`Or which his father had been managing.

The Nicolas Potel label became an excellent source of predominantly red wines, from Bourgogne Rouge to the Grands Crus of the Cote de Nuits. His hallmark has been to make wines which respect both their vineyard provenance and the style of the vintage while remaining attractively priced.
 
Suffering from a lack of capital, he sold the business to the Cottin brothers of Labouré-Roi in 2004, continuing as before until he parted company with his new owners in spring 2009. Instead he has developed his own Domaine de Bellene and negociant business Maison Roche de Bellene in Beaune.
 
Maison Roche de Bellene has been thriving in its new setting, expanding white wine production with the same high standards and competitive pricing as the reds. An associated company is Collection Bellenum, a label Nicolas uses for sourcing parcels of older Burgundy wines from capable producers who have squirrelled away various gems from their best vineyards.

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

Montagny


The region of Montagny in the Côte Chalonnaise, which includes the communes of Buxy, Jully-lès-Buxy, Montagny-lès-Buxy and Saint-Vallerin, is an appellation which dedicates itself entirely to the production of white wines. These wines in themselves are also exclusively made from the Chardonnay variety of grape.
 
In the past, wines from Montagny could claim Premier Cru status as long as their alcohol content exceeded 11.5%, a rule which transcended the regular Premier Cru classification in Burgundy. These days however the modern system of attributing Premier Cru status is undertaken in Montagny, and despite this the appellation is still able to boast that around two thirds of its vineyards retain the prestigious Premier Cru classification, an extremely high proportion of high quality vineyard. Unfortunately for the producers this large number of Premier Cru vineyards means that certain names are diluted and find it harder to establish themselves as leading growers, leading some to simply declare their wines as ‘Montagny Premier Cru’ without naming the vineyard of their origin.
 
Montagny’s white wines are known for their higher acidity and more robust body than other Chalonnaise whites. The high levels of limestone in the soil help to develop these facets, as well as imparting a certain beneficial minerality on the wine.

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