Nicolas, ever the enthusiast, had recently been to Japan when we visited to taste the 2017s, and was full of the use of drones to deliver the correct (organic) treatments whilst avoiding the soil compaction caused by tractors! On more prosaic matters, 2017 had been an early harvest for him, starting on 5th September for the reds and on the 9th for the whites. Those extra days beyond many of his peers were important to achieve full ripeness after a growing season that has seen some pressure from mildew. As ever it was massive tasting and we selected carefully, simply because we don’t want to make the offering overly complex, very good though the wines are!
Occupying 16th century, once military buildings in the Rue du Faubourg St-Nicolas in Beaune, Nicolas Potel operates under two guises. The first is the 26 ha Domaine de Bellene which includes vineyards from Pommard in the Côte de Beaune up to Vosne-Romanée in the Côte de Nuits. The second is Maison Roche de Bellene which is the merchant side of the business, buying in wine, must and increasingly grapes with the aim of being, as Nicolas puts it, the ‘Haute Couture’ negoçiant of Burgundy. Born and bred in Burgundy (his father ran Domaine de la Pousse d’Or for many years and was a leading figure in the rise of domaine-bottled burgundies) Nicolas has all the contacts necessary to buy top quality supplies in quantities as small as single barrels of illustrious grand cru wines. Since this part of the business started in 2008 we have supplied consistently satisfying bottles to Tanners customers including those of our house red burgundy whose provenance goes back to vines held by the Potels during their time at Pousse d’Or. Nicolas has also channelled his infectious enthusiasm into running Domaine de Bellene along strict organic lines achieving accreditation in 2011 only to be forced, much to his disappointment, to give it up several years later due to mandatory spraying against the leafhoppers that spread the disease Flavescence Dorée. Notwithstanding that, the wines are brilliant!