Nicolas Potel Chambertin Grand Cru 2006
Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
All our vines are grown using biodynamic methods. We add no outside products to our wines, no acid, no cultured yeast, nutrients, enzymes or sugar. Enjoy seductive aromas, sublime flavors and a supple texture.
The Wine Advocate - "Classic rose petal and licorice – along with scents of dark berries and smoked meat – rise from the glass of Potel 2006 Chambertin, which comes to an almost bitter point of berry and herb concentration on its plush yet palpably chalky, extract-rich palate. This preserves the elegance and lift that are part of so many of the nest wines of its vintage, without sacrificing strength of flavor or structure. It finishes with ripe, refreshing, sappy fruit intensity, mineral invigoration, carnal mystery, and a shower of rose petals and should be well worth following for 12-15 years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good medium red. Explosive, wild aromas of black raspberry and smoked meat. At once suave and powerful, with a compellingly layered texture and great depth to its flavors of black fruits, game, pepper and earth. Wonderfully thick, powerfully structured wine with great back-end breadth and persistence. A powerful expression of soil, and built for a long life in bottle. The finish shows an intriguing suggestion of black olive. Range: 92-95"
Nicolas Potel Winery
Nicolas Potel is one of a new breed of vinificateurs who are redefining the meaning of négociant. His father, the highly respected Gerard Potel, began a négoce house in the mid 1990s while manager of Domaine de la Pousse d'Or. Upon Gerard's death, Nicolas left the Domaine to take over the négoce business and his philosophy remains unchanged from when he worked with his father at Pousse d'Or.
He bought about 60% fruit for the 1997 vintage and 50% for 1998 (the rest being post-fermentation wine). He is very involved in the vineyard management with his contract growers and insists, whenever possible, on a biodynamic approach. He has strict requirements as to vine age (minimum of 35 years), harvest date, selection and parcel location. His selection process is extreme and quality driven: in 1998, about 500 wines were tasted to net 25 purchases.
The future is optimistic for Nicolas and his personal relationships with the leading growers of the Côte d'Or have given him access to fruit and wine which normally would never be sold off by the estate. His training in Australia and California leads him to prefer generous fruit qualities, and his wines are remarkably rich and sensual. View all Nicolas Potel Wines
About BurgundyView a map of Burgundy wineries
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold