Potel Revisité

February 26, 2014 at 11:43 am

“Comment dit-on” Burgundy? One answer will always be Nicolas Potel, who’s winemaker, Jean-Christophe Pascaud was asked, what makes great Burgundy, replied, ” It is not a question of extracting something from the grapes; it is a quest for purity and subtlety where they are no longer expected…” That quest is what drives Burgundy house Nicolas Potel & tasting the new releases of 2011 & 2012 Village, Premier and Grand Cru rouges shows a level of quality I have not previously encountered from them.

The dynamic personality of Ottavio Ruggieri was ever present, as he orchestrated another first-class event for importer WinesU, at the lovely Hotel Sofitel Philadelphia In addition, USA sales director Stephane Schaeffer was behind the table expounding on every nuance of what makes his wines tick, from soil/climatic conditions of vintage & site to winemaker Jean-Christophe’s reasoning for yeast and conal varietal selection. It is always a pleasure to speak to him, as he never fails to teach me something I did not know to ask!

Attending were a plethora of wine directors, hotel beverage managers &, sommeliers. In addition, PLCB regional education director, Frank Rossi had a posse of instructors & in-store “Wine Specialists” evaluating the new releases for possible inclusion in the Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in Pennsylvania.
The wines:
2012 Macon-Village $13 Apple, citrus, yeasty creaminess continues with tart acidity & lemon on the finish. A very nice showing for an inexpensive chardonnay based wine, a great value.
2012 Bourgogne Rouge $13 Sweet cherry fruit, hard candy, strawberry, again bright acidity, with raspberry on the finish. A nice easy drinking everyday wine.
2008 Beaune 1er/ Premier Cru, Les Vignes Franches $48 Translucent light tawny red, tart cherry, earth, mushroom, puckering acidity. Strawberry & a hint of Balsamic round out the finish.

2009 Beaune 1er/Premier Cru, Les Montrevenots $70 Light, almost Rosѐ in color. Raspberry pastry, strawberry, light in style flavor wise, but acidity makes this an excellent warm weather food wine.
2010 Nuits Saint- George 1er/ Premier Cru Les Callies $100 Neat color of light tawny purple, Ivory soap on the nose, darker cherry in comparison to the Montrevenots, with a nice minerality in the background.
2010 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru $195 Some raspberry perk into the bing cherry, slight blackboard chalk nuances & a little Ivory soap. Light tannins & bright acidity balance each other. A very nice & elegant wine.
2010 Clos de La Roche $198 Tawny light red, Raspberry, Cherry, nice underlying earth continues into a spicy cherry finish. This wines profile was amplified two hours later, needs decanting.
2011 Volnay $53 Lt purplish red, lightly stinky, with raspberry coming thru. Long finish of tart cherry lingers on the roof of your mouth. A favorite of everybody, a nice value in Burgundy.
2011 Volnay 1er/Premier Cru, Champans $71 Light pinkish purple, hard candy, vanilla, very tart strawberry, tannins are present, with bracing acidity, needs time. Tasted two hours later the bite was moderated with more intensity of flavor.
Pommard 1er/Premier Cru, La Chaniere $67 Light purple red, hard candy nose with cherry, strawberry, tannins present & overshadow acidity, a closed wine at first, but two hours of air later this beauty opened up.
2011 Morey-Saint-Denis $65 Light to medium red, huge cherry nose, earth, mineral, long finish of vanilla, strawberry, with lighter tannins & acidity. Great drinking now, but will age gracefully. What an elegant, beautiful, complex Burgundy. A favorite of the tasting and the best value of the day!
2011 Nuits-Saint Georges 1er/Premier Cru Les Damodes $100 a lovely waft of perfume leads with Ivory soap, vanilla, earthiness & licorice. Tannins require time to soften. Two hours later, so much better. Has to be decanted hours earlier to be appreciated near term. Some serious potential.
2012 Pommard $73 Strawberry red, big raspberry nose, but strawberry fruitiness dominates the palate. Surprising drinkability for a 2012.
2012 Nuits-Saint George $73 Light purple red, stinky, with raspberry, strawberry & earth drive this wonderful example of Pinot Noir. Long dry finish reminds one of the rewards of cellar aging. Two hours later the wine was more aromatic & softer on the palate.
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin $86 Medium purplish red, vanilla, raspberry, alcohol/glycerin heat on nose. Finish is long and relatively smooth. Two hours later mineral emerges, as well as more voluptuous fruit notes. Patience, patience, patience. 🙂

2 Responses to “Potel Revisité”

  1. schaeffer stephane says:

    Hello Anthony,
    Was good to see you in Philadelphia at the Tasting.
    I think it was a nice event, wasn’t it.
    I liked very much your article and comments on the Potel event.
    Speak to you soon.

  2. Ripple says:

    Always a pleasure Stephane!

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