0 immediate, 6 marketplace
Average critic rating : 95.0 points
Classic rose petal and licorice – along with scents of dark berries and smoked meat – rise from the glass of Potel 2006 Chambertin, which comes to an almost bitter point of berry and herb concentration on its plush yet palpably chalky, extract-rich palate. This preserves the elegance and lift that are part of so many of the nest wines of its vintage, without sacrificing strength of flavor or structure. It finishes with ripe, refreshing, sappy fruit intensity, mineral invigoration, carnal mystery, and a shower of rose petals and should be well worth following for 12-15 years. ||Nicolas Potel consistently favors promoting ripeness at low potential alcohol and consistently eschews chaptalization. He is also a fan of freshness and clarity in Pinot, while maintaining notably low levels of sulfur. A vintage where a significant share of fruit came in near or above 14% potential alcohol and was shadowed by botrytis was thus a challenge, which seems to have been selectively well met. (For more on the style and methods associated with Maison Nicolas Potel – whose wines are sourced from a mixture of contract fruit and purchased juice – consult my report in issue 171.) Despite the huge number of 2006s I tasted here, incidentally, they did not represent the entire Potel vintage collection. In May, 2009, Potel left the negociant firm that bears his name (and which belongs to the Cottin brothers, owners of Laboure-Roi) to devote himself entirely to his own domaine and negociant operation, Maison Roche de Bellene, which crushed its first grapes with the 2007 vintage (in part from Potel holdings that were showcased in Maison Potel bottlings of vintages 2005 and 2006). Long-time cellarmaster Fabrice Lesne has now assumed direction of Maison Potel. By the way, suggested retail prices for the 2006s here took a sharp downturn vis-a-vis those for the 2005s, an occurrence worth noting for its rarity. (That said, of course the effective, eventual retail prices for all 2006s have turned on market factors that transcended cellar door prices, let alone the parameters envisioned by national importers). Wine Advocate.December, 2009
The highly respected Burgundian winemaker, Nicolas Potel, decided to launch his own negociant business in 1996 following the death of his father and subsequent sale of Domaine Pousse d’Or, which his father had been managing and where Potel had been learning make wine. In 2005, he created his own estate, Domaine de Bellene in the Cote de Beaune with 15 ha of organic vines. This was followed by the launch of his new negociant business, Maison Roche de Bellene, in 2008 when he departed from SAS Nicolas Potel Company.Potel’s philosophy is to focus on offering the finest wines in the Cote d’Or, concentrating mainly on the Cote de Nuits with the widest selection of Grand Crus in Burgundy.He has recently launched Collection Bellenum - a range of rare older vintages. Potel’s years as a fruit buyer for his negociant line makes him one of the best connected men in Burgundy. He is extremely passionate about old wines and through his contacts has gained access to the private reserves of some of the best growers in the region. Collection Bellenum is a parcel of these very special wines. Potel tasted over 1000 wines for the range, but selected only the finest 100 with vintages dating from 1959 to 2006.
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