Maison Roche de Bellene Saint-Aubin 2020
This village is tucked out of the limelight in a side valley between Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet. A high proportion of the vineyard area is designated premier cru, and Chardonnay is the predominant grape variety. This appellation is especially well-known for its pleasing, affordable white wines that are similar to Puligny-Montrachet in their steely structure, only lacking a bit of the elegance and perfume.
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.
A steep, upcountry basin (referred to as a combe in French) in the southern end of the Côte de Beaune, St. Aubin is a direct westerly neighbor to Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. Recent years have seen a boom in white wine production so that now Chardonnay accounts for more than three quarters of area under vine here. Two thirds of St. Aubin is classified Premier Cru (30 total vineyards); most notable include Les Charmois, La Chatenière, En Remilly and Les Murgers Dents de Chie. The Premiers Crus of St. Aubin, wrapping like a ribbon upon the southeast and southwest facing slopes, produce fresh and elegant whites from Chardonnay. When young, these tout a refreshing grip and convey qualities of white flowers, citrus, pear, green almond and wet stone. Given some age, a graceful evolution occurs so that older St. Aubin whites express richer aromas of beeswax, honey, marzipan and spice.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.