(Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com - 17th May 2012)
About this WINE
As well as running his own wine property Domaine de Bellene and negociant company Maison Roche de Bellene, the ever resourceful Nicolas Potel has made a speciality out of sourcing parcels of older Burgundy wines from capable producers who have squirrelled away various gems from their best vineyards. Nicolas has got to know almost everybody in Burgundy during his twenty-five years of making wine.
"..I've now had two chances to taste wines from this unique collection of wines that have moved only once in their lives, from the original cellar to Potels....I'd say they magnificently reflect the reality of Burgundy in that they are very varied, provide a thoroughly useful overview of how different vintages are developing, and include some completely stunning wines that are not Grands Crus, not even Premiers Crus but are simple village wines. A 1959 Meursault and 1999 Volnay spring particularly to mind. "
(Jancis Robinson - Financial Times - 19-May-2012)
For an independent view of these wines, please see reports by Jancis Robinson (membership required) and Bill Nanson.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.