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Maison Roche de Bellene, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Lavaux St Jacques 2010

Red Wine from France - Burgundy
At a tasting at Roche de Bellene as its quality stood out. From the cool valley, or Combe, behind the village of Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy, Lavaux St Jacques is a lovely vineyard producing fine, elegant wines with wonderful black-cherry perfume and silky tannins. This cool year managed to ripen thanks to its small crop and has produced this unusual and special balance combining an intensely aromatic vintage with ripe, sweet tannins.
Price: £79.00 Bottle
Price: £474.00 Case of 6
Low stock
Code: BU51651

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Pinot Noir
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2024
  • 75cl
  • Cork, diam

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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Burgundy Vintage 2010

There are superb wines in both colours in this truly excellent vintage. Circumstances led to low yields of healthy, ripe grapes and the wines are seductive as a result. It is rare to find so many reds with such ripe, gentle, sweet and frictionless tannins. Furthermore, the pinot grapes were harvested at modest alcohols of 12-12.5% and usually chaptalized to 12.5-13%. They retain an exquisite pinot perfume and taste of their origins. Almost everything is superb.

Regarding red wines, even in crus and communes that can sometimes produce wines with firm tannins, such as Volnay Clos de Chênes, Pommard, Aloxe and Nuits-Saint-Georges, are ripe and sweet tasting in 2010. It is certainly unusual to have tasted so many delicious Nuits-Saint-Georges. However, modest Bourgognes and crus like Saint-Aubin are also excellent and should give much pleasure over a potentially long lifetime due to the quality of their tannins.

The white wines show a rare concentration and structure that is unusual in...
There are superb wines in both colours in this truly excellent vintage. Circumstances led to low yields of healthy, ripe grapes and the wines are seductive as a result. It is rare to find so many reds with such ripe, gentle, sweet and frictionless tannins. Furthermore, the pinot grapes were harvested at modest alcohols of 12-12.5% and usually chaptalized to 12.5-13%. They retain an exquisite pinot perfume and taste of their origins. Almost everything is superb.

Regarding red wines, even in crus and communes that can sometimes produce wines with firm tannins, such as Volnay Clos de Chênes, Pommard, Aloxe and Nuits-Saint-Georges, are ripe and sweet tasting in 2010. It is certainly unusual to have tasted so many delicious Nuits-Saint-Georges. However, modest Bourgognes and crus like Saint-Aubin are also excellent and should give much pleasure over a potentially long lifetime due to the quality of their tannins.

The white wines show a rare concentration and structure that is unusual in chardonnay. This structure underlies intense, beautiful aromas from austere and mineral to ripe and peachy depending on terroir. They possess a dense, rich mid palate and a long, fresh finish wrapped in a delicious ripeness. The grapes were harvested with thick skins, little juice and an excellent balance of sugar and acidity – all the elements required to make lovely wine. As with the reds there is much potential for cellaring.

The factors that led to the low yields, which in turn led to the wonderful quality of the vintage, are threefold. Firstly there was the ‘Great Freeze’ of 21st December, 2009, which killed some vines but also destroyed the embryonic buds in the survivors and led to the vine reverting to secondary buds that have lower fertility. The second factor was poor weather at flowering, which decides the quantity of fruit set. Coulure (when fruit sets but then falls off) and millerandage (when berries grow to a third or less of their normal size and develop fewer pips) were common, particularly millerandage which affected pinot noir in particular. Finally, changeable weather throughout the season, while not usually ideal, meant that the grapes retained a lovely aromatic quality that has survived into the bottle.

At harvest time the grapes were phenolically mature and full of flavour, with those aromas intact and normal levels of alcohol. The low yields contributed to this as a normal crop would not have ripened as well.
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2010 vintage reviews

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