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Domaine de Bellene, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Chaignots 2016

Red Wine from France - Burgundy
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From a vineyard planted in 1985 on the north of the village of Nuits, situated mid slope this hillside vineyard has more limestone and less clay than those to the south. The wine has a fine boned palate and sweet tannins.
Price: £61.50 Bottle
Price: £369.00 Case of 6 (out of stock)
Low stock
Code: BU66521

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Pinot Noir
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2031
  • 13% Alcohol
  • no oak influence
  • Cork, natural

Côte de Nuits

Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile...
Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle.

The climate here is semi-continental, though northerly winds can temper a hot summer while warmer winds from the south can bring warmth. Westerly winds that ultimately originate in the Atlantic can bring rain but at its worst may deliver devastating hail in incredibly localised storms. There is a degree of unpredictability about vintages in Burgundy that mean more variation than in any other fine wine region.

The appellations that sit above the generic regional ACs in the hierarchy are Marsannay, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Echézaux and Nuits-St-George. Côte de Nuits –Villages is made from grapes grown at either end of the Côte, where the soils and sites are less impressive. Gevrey-Chambertin is a complete and balanced wine, full and harmonious. Wines from Nuits-St-Georges are the most tannic and, like Pommards, need long maturation. For many Vosne-Romanée is the summit. Its wines have beautiful velvety palates: dense and soft, sensuous and tactile. Chambolle-Musigny is the lightest yet one of the most fragrant wines of the Côte de Nuits. It is perhaps Nuits's equivalent of Volnay; a pretty, fine boned wine with exquisite perfume and a silky palate.
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Roche de Bellene/Domaine de Bellene

Nicolas Potel is a remarkable man, being both hugely talented and possessing exceptional levels of energy and drive. He is the son of the late, equally exceptional, Gérard Potel, who was the director of the excellent Pousse D’Or estate.

A chronological summary of Nicolas Potel’s career:

1969-1997 Early Years and Domaine de la Pousse D’Or
Born in 1969, Nicolas quickly found he had a practical bent. He left school before he was 18, and was employed by a Meursault producer, Thierry Matrot, which he loved. He travelled to Australia and worked for the estates of Moss Wood, Leeuwin Estate, Wirra Wirra, Mount Mary and then Tom Dehlinger in California. In Burgundy he worked for Domaine Roumier and Domaine Juillot before returning to Pousse D’Or for 5 years up to 1997, when his father died.

1998-2007 The rise of his négociant company, 'Nicolas Potel'
He started his négociant house in 1998. The respect in which he is held enabled him to source excellent grapes and wines from some of the best domaines in Burgundy. The high quality of the grapes bought and the attention to many small details such as using smaller crates to collect the grapes during harvest, using a very gentle destemmer which allows whole berries to arrive in the vats intact, replacing his pneumatic press with a high quality vertical press giving clear press wines all contributed to the success of the wines. He grew the business quickly but the economic crisis in 2002 forced him to require more capital, which he...
Nicolas Potel is a remarkable man, being both hugely talented and possessing exceptional levels of energy and drive. He is the son of the late, equally exceptional, Gérard Potel, who was the director of the excellent Pousse D’Or estate.

A chronological summary of Nicolas Potel’s career:

1969-1997 Early Years and Domaine de la Pousse D’Or
Born in 1969, Nicolas quickly found he had a practical bent. He left school before he was 18, and was employed by a Meursault producer, Thierry Matrot, which he loved. He travelled to Australia and worked for the estates of Moss Wood, Leeuwin Estate, Wirra Wirra, Mount Mary and then Tom Dehlinger in California. In Burgundy he worked for Domaine Roumier and Domaine Juillot before returning to Pousse D’Or for 5 years up to 1997, when his father died.

1998-2007 The rise of his négociant company, 'Nicolas Potel'
He started his négociant house in 1998. The respect in which he is held enabled him to source excellent grapes and wines from some of the best domaines in Burgundy. The high quality of the grapes bought and the attention to many small details such as using smaller crates to collect the grapes during harvest, using a very gentle destemmer which allows whole berries to arrive in the vats intact, replacing his pneumatic press with a high quality vertical press giving clear press wines all contributed to the success of the wines. He grew the business quickly but the economic crisis in 2002 forced him to require more capital, which he acquired through Cottin Frères, who bought 100% of the business and now control the business that bears his name. Our excellent Exhibition Savigny-lès-Beaune 2005 was made by Nicolas during this period.

2007 onwards: Domaine de Bellene (Bellene is the Celtic name for Beaune)
Nicolas parted company with Cottin Frères in 2006/7 to concentrate on his own domaine which now comprises 18 hectares and his négociant company Maison Roche de Bellene. He is converting the vineyards to organic cultivation. He bought a characterful old winery in Beaune where he makes the wines. He is carefully and sympathetically restoring it. The vineyards are principally Bourgogne Rouge, St Romain Blanc, Beaune Premiers Crus, Savigny-lès-Beaune village and premiers crus, Nuits-St-Georges village and premiers crus and a little Vosne-Romanée. 2007, his first vintage, was sold as Domaine Nicolas Potel, but after a legal wrangle he lost the ownership of his name so from 2008 vintage this has been called Domaine de Bellene. He is also making some négociant wines since 2008 under the name Maison Roche de Bellene.

Nicolas’ style remains very pure. He vinifies with whole bunches when the stems are ripe. He is careful never to over extract nor over oak his wines, allowing the character of the vineyard and vintage to shine through. His elegant yet intensely flavoured wines are a delight. Now he has total control over the vineyards, as he did when working with his father at La Pousse D’Or, one can expect the excellent quality he has already achieved to get even better.
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Burgundy Vintage 2016

It is difficult to compare this special vintage with previous ones: the wines have the aromas of a cool year and the palates of a ripe one. Normally, wines with ripe palates will have less intense aromas, while aromatic wines can have excessive acidity or scratchy tannins. In 2016, we have all the benefits and none of the disadvantages. The only big problem is quantity: 2016 produced roughly half a normal crop due to a severe frost. What has been made, however, is exceptional.

Reds are pure, intense and exquisite, especially in the Côte d’Or, which had the best weather. Combine this with deep colour, ripe fruit, sweet tannins and a fresh finish, and one has something very rare. The ripe character and the quality of the tannins are remarkable.

There is some inconsistency in style – the frost damage is very variable, so that leads to great differences in yield and therefore ripeness – but quality is uniformly high, with medium to long-term ageing potential. An exceptional year.

The whites ...
It is difficult to compare this special vintage with previous ones: the wines have the aromas of a cool year and the palates of a ripe one. Normally, wines with ripe palates will have less intense aromas, while aromatic wines can have excessive acidity or scratchy tannins. In 2016, we have all the benefits and none of the disadvantages. The only big problem is quantity: 2016 produced roughly half a normal crop due to a severe frost. What has been made, however, is exceptional.

Reds are pure, intense and exquisite, especially in the Côte d’Or, which had the best weather. Combine this with deep colour, ripe fruit, sweet tannins and a fresh finish, and one has something very rare. The ripe character and the quality of the tannins are remarkable.

There is some inconsistency in style – the frost damage is very variable, so that leads to great differences in yield and therefore ripeness – but quality is uniformly high, with medium to long-term ageing potential. An exceptional year.

The whites have a similar blend of freshness and ripeness – traits that are usually diametrically opposed. To find them in the same wines is very unusual.

There is a little more variation in style and quality than for the reds. The Côte d’Or was the warmest region, while Chablis was distinctly cooler, with a rainy September, making bright, tense and classic wines. The Mâconnais, spared the frost, was successful too, but 1,500ha were damaged by hail in the south of the region.
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