Domaine de Bellene 2019 Arrival

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

I detected a shift in style with the reds that I found imbued with more finesse and terroir expression than I expected, a positive progression and asked Potel about recent changes. “We changed things from 2017. The tanks are now closed, and we do less pigeage. We no longer use pumps and use buckets instead and also practice longer fermentations. I like the tannins to be softer at the end.” This revised modus operandi has yielded some real gems that do not necessarily cluster at the higher end of the portfolio… Readers should scan Potel’s 2019s carefully because there is a cluster of excellent wines from some of the region’s finest appellations, but also many that I suspect will represent great value. Onwards and upwards for Potel. NEAL MARTIN, 2020

The irrepressible Nicolas Potel. The man, the myth, the legend. Time/age has settled him somewhat it would seem. Not that he has lost any of his restless energy but it would seem like that energy is more calmy focused and channelled these days. Though, talking with Michael recently about our last trip to Burgundy, and our visit to see Nic, I would say he hasn’t lost his thirst for life… we had a rather long night talking about all things wine.

Chatting with him that day you could really get a sense for where he was heading now and that renewed determination to bring the domaine to the fore in the region in terms of quality and in terms of recognition. He has always leant on the more obsessive side of things when it comes to making his wine. Nic has always been determined to make wines of the calibre his legendary father did and he has, for many years, approached that kind of level but irregularly. The wines have always been excellent, with glimpses of superb.

Today Nico is a lot more serene. He began young and with a lot of weight of expectation resting on his shoulders. Combined with his natural intensity this led to some remarkable results and some mistakes, but like all truly great winemakers he constantly learns from both, his successes and those wines that could have been better. Now you see the maturity in his winemaking and the steady hand of a man who grew up in the vineyards and wineries around some of the most famous and influential people in Burgundy. His wines these days have a sense of ease and, all importantly, they show that wonderful sense of place at all levels.

A couple of weeks ago we unleashed the “top” wines from the Domaine de Bellene and the response was huge, as is usually the case, and, as is our usual practice with the wines of the Domaine de Bellene, we would now like to offer you Nicolas Potel’s superb value offerings.  This year there is five wines to talk about as there has been a couple of new additions to the Bellene stable.

Domaine de Bellene Coteaux Bourguignons L’Eclos des Abeille Chardonnay 2019 – only the second release of this wine. The Abeille is meant to be the white accompaniment to his outrageously good value Bourgogne rouge. A relatively new designation the Coteaux Bourguignons allows Nicolas to source fruit from premium regions and label them as something that represents a step up from the usual Bourgogne Blanc.

Domaine de Bellene Bourgogne Rouge Maison Dieu 2019 Vieilles Vignes 2019 – consistently the best value Bourgogne on the market? If it isn’t it has to be close. The 2019 is absolutely and thoroughly impressive for its category ​​​​​

Domaine de Bellene Saint Romain Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2019 – a perennial favourite at PWS this always offers such remarkable value. Classy and voluminous Chardonnay with a dollop of minerality that is digestible and classy.

Domaine de Bellene Beaune Blanche Fleur 2019 – another new wine from Nico. The master of reds from the Cote de Beaune, Nicolas has secured a plot of old vine material in a lieu-dit that abuts the famous Clos du Roi.

Domaine de Bellene Savigny Les Beaune Blanc 2019 – last but far from the least. Potel’s belief in Savigny as the region where people’s attention should be focused for both whites and reds is unwavering. He believes there are a number of super terroirs and that, when well made can provide beautiful wines of elegance and poise that also offer consumers real value, in the context of Burgundy. Something Nicolas thinks is increasingly important today.

From what I have seen so far from Nico’s 19s the whites are fleshy and tactile with plenty of energy and clear minerality. They don’t lack anything in terms of verve but that extra volume this year really adds some mass appeal. Something he loves in his wines, appeal and drinkability.

The reds are tremendous this year, as the comments from Neal Martin suggest there is great expressions across the hierarchy and while his “top” wines may be super his good value things are in a similar vein and deliver all that class and purity at sensational prices.

As always I have to make a special mention of the Bourgogne. Honestly, for $39 each, this wine is outrageously good.

All wines are offered at a minimum 20% off and up to 30% off in six packs and dozens for previous buyers.