Maison Roche de Bellene Vosne Romanee Vieilles Vignes 2020
Vosne-Romanée is the epicenter of elite Red Burgundy. Home to seven grands crus, there is no other village in Burgundy that combines such intensity of flavor with refinement of structure. Asian spice, cherries, raspberries are the hallmarks of this appellation. This is serious wine with an underlying structure and complexity from old vines.
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.
This is the village for the most die-hard Burgundy fanatics. Vosne-Romanée has for many hundreds of years been the source of the most sought-after Pinot Noir in Burgundy. The village claims six Grands Crus—and some of the most famous at that—but in other villages where owners manage tiny parcels or a few rows of any one vineyard, monopolies dominate the Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanee.
Of these monopolies, Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) reigns supreme, claiming not only more total vineyard area than any other producer, but outright owning the entirety of two of the Grands Crus and a majority of two others. In its full possession are naturally Romanée-Conti, as well as La Tâche. DRC also owns most of Richebourg and Romanée-St-Vivant. The final two, La Grande Rue and La Romanée are completely owned by other other produers: François Lamarche and Comte Liger Belair, respectively.
While one could spend a lifetime on the puzzles of land ownership in Burgundy, the point is that Vosne-Romanee contains the most valuable pieces of vineyard real estate in the world. Pinot Noir from any of its vineyards—especially from within its 27ha of Grand Cru or 58 ha of Premier Cru land—is going to rank among the best.
The most outstanding wines from this village have everything: finesse and elegance coupled with the body and sturdiness for incredibly long aging ability. They are intensely floral and exotically spiced. Beautifully ripe, complex and ephemeral throughout, they are robust, yet fine-grained in texture. These wines will stay gorgeous for the long haul.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”