Despite the severity of the frost in Volnay, the wines that have been made here are absolutely charming. With no new oak, the pretty red fruit aromatics so characteristic of the village are able to sing out.
The 2016 Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans has a more cohesive and attractive nose than the Vieilles Vignes with black cherries and mulberry aromas, though I would still have liked a little more detail. The palate is medium-bodied with quite rustic tannin at the moment, the 30% whole bunch addition lending a distinct earthiness and dictating the Pommard-like finish. Drink 2020-2028
Maison Roche de Bellene is Nicolas Potel's négociant company. Following huge changes with bigger and more interesting projects behind the scenes, Nicolas left his former business and took up permanent residence at his new Beaune chai. Here, he is focusing on his négociant wines that he is continuing from his previous portfolio as well as producing a selection of domaine wines (under Domaine de Bellene). We have never seen him happier. He chose the name ‘Bellene' in honour of the ancient Roman name for Beaune. To house his new spirit and wines, he is rebuilding a 14th century cellar with only natural, pure materials including organic chalk and hemp. Unique in the region, we have never seen anything like it.
A red wine appellation only, wines from Volnay might be considered the most revered of southern Burgundy. They have been celebrated since the 18th century for their delicacy. But they are not fruit forward like those of Beaune or Chorey Lès Beaune nor have the brooding structure of Pommard.Instead, they have superb linearity, focus and poise while sheathed in velvety tannin. This slightly reticent personality comes out even more with a bit of age, though some can be approached very young. There are no grand cru vineyards in Volnay, but there are some excellent premier cru examples including Volnay Les Champans and Volnay Les Caillerets. Chardonnay grown in the shared Santenots vineyard must be labelled as Meursault.