Our Burgundy in the Press (Part 2)

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January 20th 2011

Some glowing reviews of Nicolas Potel’s Maison Roche de Bellene 2009s from Neal Martin of Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Folatières 91
This has a very fine bouquet; touches of wet limestone and a hint of smoke, nicely defined with good vigour. The palate has a fine, slightly honeyed entry, bursting full of ripe tinned apricot and white peach with a pretty, quite persistent finish that could do with a little more mineralité. Very fine. Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Volnay Vieilles Vignes 89
The Volnay is very well defined on the nose with raspberry coulis and wild strawberry. The palate has a juicy, sappy entry, good acidity with good weight on the assertive finish. Fine. Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Volnay 1er Cru Mitans 90
The nose is quite dry and withdrawn, a saline scent developing in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with chunky tannins matched with adequate ripe redcurrant and cranberry fruit. Grippy finish. Very fine, rugged and charming. Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Murgers 91-93
The Murgers has a very floral bouquet with touches of blueberry and violet. The palate has a gorgeous, caressing palate, more Vosne-like in character with fine tannins on the finish. Great value – this comes highly recommended. Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Boudots 90-92
The Nuits St Georges Boudots is less expressive than the Murgers and remains introspective. There are pointed tannins on the palate, which is brimming with freshness and vigour and leads to a feisty, fleshy finish that exudes purity. Very fine Mon. Potel! Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux 91-93
The Champeaux has a ripe, feminine bouquet with fresh strawberries, rose petals and a touch of redcurrant. The palate is well defined with very fine tannins, nicely focused with a very elegant finish. Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots 91-93
The Suchots has a rather clayey entry with some white Burgundy characteristics: white peach and a touch of peach skin. The palate has a fleshy entry, brimming full of ripe strawberry and raspberry fruits with a rounded, harmonious plush finish. Impressive. Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Clos de la Roche Grand Cru ?
The Clos de la Roche lacks a little vigour on the nose; the palate quite chewy and assertive. Fully ripe tannins but I feel it is missing just a little acidity. The finish has a lot of chutzpah with grippy ripe red-berried fruits, but it does not quite express the terroir as well as Potel’s other 09s. Perhaps picked a day or two late? Tasted January 2011.

2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 92-94
The Clos de Vougeot is ripe, almost exotic on the nose with a slight saline tincture. The palate is medium-bodied with great harmony and focus. Grainy tannins, a touch of spice, very composed towards the finish. This is beautifully crafted by Nicolas Potel, quintessential Clos de Vougeot. Tasted January 2011.

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2009 Maison Roche de Bellene Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 94-96
This deeply impressive Bonnes-Mares has an introspective, tertiary bouquet with a touch of tea leaf and dark berries. The palate has a peppery entry, firm tannins, good grip but rather brusque towards the finish. This needs to calm down and discover the joie-de-vivre of true Bonnes-Mares. Tasted January 2011.