Vaulted Burgundy

March 12, 2013 at 9:21 am

Two turns left clockwise to 75, one turn right to 66, no seriously, the right combination of Maison Nicolas Potel’s exquisite Burgundies , Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse’s decadent cuisine & the vault of the first private bank in the United States make for a AAA rated event!

It was the last stop in a North American tour by USA
Sales manager Stephane Schaeffer & Ottavio Ruggieri, division manager for importer Wines Unlimited . They presented sixteen wines of Maison Nicolas Potel to restaurant & wine professionals ten of which , were Premier & Grand Cru status. Also on hand was Del Frisco’s restaurant group’s regional manager, Rich Furino, whose staff had an endless supply of polished stemware & served some pretty tasty hor d’oeuvres.

There were some serious buyers in the room. You could tell by their slow methodical approach to tasting the individual wines, lingering on aromas, pausing to allow all the flavors to register on the palate. Unfortunately it mandated spitting for most, as Philly’s finest restaurants required their services later that night πŸ™

Nicolas Potel is another exciting character in wine circles. The son of Gerard Potel, director of Burgundy producer Pousse D’Or, Nicolas started his winemaking career at age 16 working with the white wines of Meursault, then traveling to Australia, California & again back to France to work with his father at Pousse D’Or. In 1998 he started Maison Nicolas Potel & because of his excellent reputation was able to procure grapes from the best vineyards.

Negociant Cottin Freres was brought in as a partner originally to supply an infusion of cash to expand operations & eventually took full control of this venerable house. Nicolas’ 2nd in command Fabrice Lesne took over as winemaker, carrying on the dedication & attention to detail that made Nicolas Potel’s wines so sought after.

Some of these wines changed immensely over the 3 hour period I was present, giving up much more of their secrets as time went on. For personal enjoyment decanting would have been the rule, but for evaluating wines for sale in restaurants the tasters need to balance aging with providing quality wines for their customers to drink now.

Macon-Village 2011 $13 A nice way to start the palate going. Stone fruit, lightly tart, with an easy refreshing finish.
Pouilly-Fuisse 2011 $20 Weightier with minerality winning over the stone fruit and citrus.
Bourgogne Rouge 2011 $15 Bright acidity tickles the nose, tart cherry fruit with a hint of vanilla, light tannins roughen the tongue.
Volnay 2010 $53 Pine resin, California Sinsemilla, earth, what a nose, unusual but good, on the palate raspberry, cherry with a hint of evergreen make for in my opinion a neat Burgundy.
Morey-Saint Denis 2008 $51 Bright Raspberry, iodine, wine vinegar, lovely butterscotch flavors, with a hint of strawberry.
Chambolle-Musigny 2008 $78 Very earthy, that stinky barnyard smell so tied to Burgundy. Not overdone & the dark cherry fruit is quite prominent to create a nice balance.
Volnay Champans Premier Cru 2011 $58 Closed played hid & seek at first, but opened 120 min. later. Deep stewed cherry, ammonia (pyrazines?), tea, so much is still hidden πŸ™
Volnay Champans Premier Cru 2010 $58 Jammy for a Burgundy, raspberry, strawberry, loads of fruit on nose, Raspberry ,tannins and acidity give a nice finish. What a elegant wine compared to its broader Volnay cousin.
Pommard Les Epenots Premier Cru 2010 $63
Lots of fruit up front, Raspberry cookie filling dominates, with butterscotch & loamy notes make for a complex, but again, very young wine.
Nuits-Saint-George Les Damodes Premier Cru 2010 $78 Named after Druid Goddesses, this wine reveals stewed cherry, raspberry & cinnamon with a mouthwatering finish. A youth that will make the Nicolas Potel proud.
Nuits-Saint- Georges Les Cailles Premier Cru 2010 $78 While most would say this is the French word for Quail, it is in fact meant as a contraction of cailloux(stones), in reference to the Limestone in the vineyard. Nice cinnamon on the nose, earthy, with, slight raspberry & cherry alongside a distinct strawberry component. Tannins are ever present as is some big acidity. This was my favorite wine & it just got better & better as I went back to taste later.
Beaune Les Teurons Premier Cru 2008 $48 *Closed, with anchovy paste, tart cherry, as well on the palate with bright acidity. * A perfect example of why young wines need some breathing time. Both the nose and flavors gave up some interesting fruit & earth notes after another hour.
Beaune Les Vignes Premier Cru 2008 $48 Closed at 1st tasting but opened later with earthy tones, mushroom, tart cherry raspberry. More subdued fruit on palate of cherry & earth with a little ivory soap, similar but lighter profile to the Latricieres below.
Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2010 $155 Now this is my favorite vineyard for Burgundy, unfortunately I had to wait till just before I left to get my tasting notes, as this was one Closed wine two hours before. Licorice, plum, with slight floral nuances, the tannins get in the way but it’s apparent patience will be rewarded.
Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2007 $250 Earth, raspberry, dark cherry, very Burgundian, more earth on palate, tart cherry, & great acidity make this one of my favorites & sure to age well.
Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2007 $150 More jammy fruit then the Beze, while earth is still beautifully in background & vanilla balances the tart fruit finish.
Now all I need is a time machine to try these wines in 2018 πŸ™‚

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