Domaine de Bellene 2018 New Releases

Generally, the 2018s in barrel tend toward vivid and bright red and blue fruit aromatics. They seem to leap out of the glass with a sense of nascent joie-de-vivre. NEAL MARTIN

Nicolas Potel no longer makes the wines that bear his name, he makes them at Domaine de Bellene and they're superb. JONATHAN RAY, The Telegraphe

Potel is now an old hand in the Côte and it shows as the quality is excellent. Stylistically, if you've enjoyed the Potel wines in the past, there is no reason that you would not enjoy either variation of the Bellene wines as they are classic in the best sense of the term.  BURGHOUND

For those of you who are familiar with the Domaine de Bellene, the story of Nicolas is well-known. Since his foray into a Maison business bearing his name 20 years ago and then with the Domaine de Bellene he has always run counter to the crowd in Burgundy. His infectious energy is underpinned by a huge intellect and clarity of vision about what he wants his domaine and his wines to be.
Nicolas has always worked with old-vine fruit and practiced a relatively minimal intervention regime in the cellars. The wines are what the vintage gives you; there are no tricks to reinvent the wine that didn't come from the vineyard. Over the year's tweaks have been made to this or that approach but generally the methodology has not wavered greatly. The increasing knowledge of the plots is one thing that we think is delivering better outcomes as well. MICHAEL MCNAMARA

Nicolas Potel was very upbeat, even by his usually energetic standards, when we visited last year to look over his 17s and 18s. As much as well may have loved his 17s for the exuberance and bright fruit it was obvious right from the get go that Nico was just waiting to move on to taste his 18s. I have quite extensive notes from the tasting, Nicolas is always a fantastic source of information, not only on his wines but on the season and the ins and outs of the region in general, and there is lots of little comments from him along the lines of "this is the greatest vintage of my career" or "the best Bourgogne I have ever made" and "both whites and reds are brilliant in 18". While Nic is always full of energy his excitement about this release was palpable and for good reason.

In short the wines he has released from 2018 are excellent. The whites have ample weight but the yields of the vintage also mean that they have kept their freshness and clarity so you get a lovely mix of lively richness. The reds are great, power, depth, intensity, structure and concentration but they are by no means overweight, in fact they are well delineated and retain a degree of freshness that's surprising considering their relative sizes and depth. All in all they are striking group that really do justify Nico's excitement.