2007 Clos de la Roche Nicolas Potel

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£91.00 DP

Average critic rating : 91.0 points



Having the same sources as the 2008, Maison Potel’s 2007 Clos de la Roche offers a combination of smoky pungency and rhubarb-like tartness found in some other wines of this collection but rare in the vintage as a whole. Dark cherry, burley tobacco, resinous notes from barrel, crushed stone, and brown spices contribute to a complex, sappily-concentrated but rather severely tannic palate impression, and this leads to a forceful and persistent though slightly grainy finish. This ought to be worth following for at least a dozen years. ||In mid 2009, Nicolas Potel was forced out of the negociant firm that bears his name by the owners of its parent company, Laboure-Roi. (For more about Nicolas Potel’s own new negociant and domaine, see under “Roche de Bellene” and “Domaine de Bellene.”) Other members of the team responsible for Maison Nicolas Potel wines – including cellarmaster Fabrice Lesne – remain in place. I tasted more than half of their 2008s – a line-up considerably reduced in numbers as well as different in particulars from that which had come to prevail under Potel’s tenure (and bereft of some obvious gems) – and sampled a few of their 2007s: the last collection here that Nicolas Potel guided to bottle; an exceptionally impressive one for its vintage based on what I could taste; and one characterized by levels of alcohol (generally under 12.5%) unusually modest by any standards, not to mention those prevailing in 2007. Many of the Potel 2008s were tardy in undergoing malo; a few were not finished until Spring of last year and thus not taste-able when I last visited. No wines had yet been bottled at that time either, but all of those that I tasted were ready for bottling, and where applicable assembled in tank. It would be an understatement to note that it is bound to be awkward for both parties from a marketing standpoint to have your operation named for someone no longer involved but rather competing with you, someone whose wines in turn cannot be labeled with his own name. But under the unfortunate historical circumstances, there may for at least the foreseeable future be no alternative. Wine Advocate.June, 2010

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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