A visit from Nicolas Potel

Written By

December 8th 2014

A couple of months ago Nicolas Potel, son of a Burgundian legend and a highly regarded winemaker and negociant in his own right, dropped into our offices where we were fortunate enough to taste a remarkable flight of mature vintages of his Grand Crus. Our highly enviable task was to analyse, deliberate and select the best of the best to include in an exclusive “Goedhuis mixed case” for immediate drinking.

roche-de-bellene-bottles.jpg

Burgundy lovers will know that 2000 is one of the most overlooked Burgundian vintages in recent times. We did not expect these to be the stars of the tasting, however we were absolutely bowled over by the intensity and stunningly pure fruit of these three alluring 2000s. It was an easy and unanimous decision that our mixed case should comprise 2 bottles each of Clos de la Roche, Latricières Chambertin and Chambertin 2000.

clos-de-la-roche-2001.jpg

Clos de la Roche, Morey St Denis’s great Grand Cru adjoining the Grands Crus of Gevrey Chambertin, is invariably one of our favourite Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte de Nuits, and the other absolute stand-out wine of the tasting was the Clos de la Roche 1999, which will be packed in cases of three.

Please find below our notes on the wines we selected.

Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 1999
Impressive and masculine with a solid structure, this is dark and brooding. Round ripe dark and red bramble fruits, hints of violets and dark rose intermingled with saddle leather and minerals. This is complex, but very approachable; lovely balance and fine complexity of fruit. Beautiful length to the finish.

Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2000
This echoes some of the notes of the Latricières; bright red summers fruits and a rich perfumed nose. Very evocative. The palate is broad and complex with a lovely velvety texture. Fresh creamy fruits dance off the palate, strawberries, cherries and blueberries, this is underpinned by the classic fragrant spice and some sweet savoury tones. Great balance with a beautiful finish. This may lack the power of some CdlR, but it is blessed with gorgeous fruit, purity and fine tannins.

Latricières Chambertin Grand Cru 2000
Bright, ripe summer fruit pudding. This has a beautifully enticing red berry nose, extremely alluring and very fine. The palate is very enticing; ripe cherries, roses and violets, with hints of spice. Round creamy, juicy and incredibly silky, it glides across your palate coating it with gorgeous flavours. This is very good indeed, soft delicate tannins, great purity of fruit it is very unforced. Lovely balance and freshness. This really is a class act, with wonderfully flavours on the finish. An extremely alluring wine.

Chambertin Grand Cru 2000
A very distinguished nose. Rich, ripe dark red berries lead through to dark blue berries, violets and spice which really entice you in. It is brooding, but very alluring. The palate is beautifully developed echoing the fresh flavours found in the deeply scented nose. Wonderful broad ripe red and blue fruits, spice and minerals which intermingled have great length and depth of complexity. There is power here, but it still retains great clarity of fruit. This is wrapped up in velvety tannins. The finish goes on and on. A class act.

chambertin-2000.jpg

More about Nicolas Potel:
It is testament to Nicolas Potel’s remarkable success that he is no longer considered one of the new generation of young wine makers in the Cote d’Or, and is today very much one of the establishment. Wine has always been in his blood; he grew up at one of Volnay’s most famous estates Domaine de la Pousse d’Or under the tutelage of his father Gerard Potel, one of the greats of his generation. Nicolas travelled the world working at some of the most progressive estates in the new and old world. Following the very sad and sudden death of his father in 1997, the family were forced to sell their estate and the life of Nicolas Potel the negociant was born.

potel-bourgogne-cave.jpg

potel-bourgogne-cave.jpg

The secret to Nicolas’s success has been his amazing address book and a list of vigneron friends, a “Who’s Who” of Burgundy. All of them wanted to support him in his early days and now provide fruit and wine to his negociant business Maison Roche de Bellene through sheer respect for what he is doing in the region. Supporting his skill at buying and making young wine every vintage, Nicolas has carved out a niche in discovering mature gems of fruit at famous domaine cellars which up to now have remained unearthed and undiscovered.