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Maison Roche de Bellene, Saint-Aubin 2018

White Wine from France - Burgundy
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A fresh and fine-flavoured Saint-Aubin. This cool valley has benefited from global warming and is making excellently balanced wines. Drink from 2021 to 2024.
is no longer available
Code: BU73121

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 2 - Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2024
  • 13% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Cork, diam

Côte de Beaune

The Côte de Beaune runs from Ladoix-Serrigny in the north to Cheilly lè Maranges in the south, on the southern escarpment of the Côte d’Or. Beaune is the town at its heart. The most famous wines of the area are white, but many excellent reds are produced.

The soils of the area are predominantly mixtures of clay and limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The hillsides here, split and riven by streams and side-valleys, provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as various aspects ranging from east-facing to south and south-west facing. 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. Soils with more limestone suit chardonnay more than pinot, hence the number of famous white burgundies produced...
The Côte de Beaune runs from Ladoix-Serrigny in the north to Cheilly lè Maranges in the south, on the southern escarpment of the Côte d’Or. Beaune is the town at its heart. The most famous wines of the area are white, but many excellent reds are produced.

The soils of the area are predominantly mixtures of clay and limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The hillsides here, split and riven by streams and side-valleys, provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as various aspects ranging from east-facing to south and south-west facing. 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. Soils with more limestone suit chardonnay more than pinot, hence the number of famous white burgundies produced here.

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.

Pinot noir and chardonnay are the two permitted grapes of any significance, though Aligoté is grown occasionally for crisp, mouth-watering whites that are often used to make kir, and some generic Bourgogne or Crémant can be made with pinot blanc, pinot gris and beurrot can be made.

The appellations to be found in the Côte de Beaune are as follows: Ladoix, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton , Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Savigny-lès Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Monthélie, Auxey-Duresses, Saint-Romain, Meursault, Saint-Aubin, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Santenay and Maranges

Côte de Beaune-Villages and Bourgogne-Hautes Côtes de Beaune are also made. The former is solely for red wines and the latter includes some whites as well. Both are mostly from vineyards on the top of the escarpment and some represent good value for early drinking Burgundy.

Côte de Beaune wines are generally lighter than those from the Côte de Nuits. Beaunes are soft and round, Volnays fine and silky. Pommards are the exception: due to more clay in the soil, they can be notably tannic and in need of considerable bottle age. The greatest of all white Burgundies, Le Montrachet, is made here between Chassagne and Puligny.
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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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