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Maison Roche de Bellene Cuvee Speciale Bourgogne Blanc 2011

Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
  • D93
13% ABV
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Nicolas Potel focuses on expressive, terroir-driven wines from old vines (minimum 35 years old). The vineyards have been farmed according to biodynamic practices since 2006 and are now certified BIO. Vinification is minimalist in approach — no enzymes, cultured yeasts, chaptalization or acid adjustments are used, and filtration is avoided.

Critical Acclaim

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D 93
Decanter
This is a project of Burgundy’s famous Nicolas Potel and releases wines from some of the region’s greatest vineyards. This more humble Bourgogne is a cracker, with a beautiful, creamy, complex structure and wonderful freshness throughout. Great value for money.
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Maison Roche de Bellene

Maison Roche de Bellene

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Maison Roche de Bellene, Burgundy, France
Nicolas Potel, after his first steps as winemaker in the family Estate in Volnay: le Domaine de la Pousse d'Or, he built up his own negoce in 1996 then, in 2000, Maison Potel-Aviron in Beaujolais region. In 2005, Nicolas built up his own Estate, Domaine de Bellene, in Beaune with 15 Ha of organic vines in Côte de Beaune.

In 2008, after the departure from SAS Nicolas Potel company, Nicolas Potel launches his new negociant business called Maison Roche de Bellene. The philosophy is the same as Nicolas used to in Nuits-Saint-Georges: we have been keeping the same source of wines and the same relationship with growers that Nicolas have been working with the last 15 years. One extremely important difference from the past is the we are now only focusing on offering the finest wines, in limited cuvées in order to achieve our goal: being the only "Haute Couture" negociant in Burgundy.

Burgundy

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land. While the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here—soil type, elevation and angle of each slope—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one or two rows of vines. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. In some years spring frost and hail must be overcome.

The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. The Mâconnais produces soft and round, value-driven Chardonnay while Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is a paradise for any lover of bright, acid-driven and often age-worthy versions of the grape.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

STC628303_2011 Item# 130367