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Nicolas Potel 2007 Chambertin-Clos de Beze

From what we learnt from a Potel tasting with HKWS, Nicolas Potel, whose credentials are as impeccable as his wines, is one of the leading lights of a new breed of Burgundian super negociants who have modernized the business of sourcing wine from the best growers in highly-rated estates. In doing so, Burgundy's wines have been propelled right back up to the top. He is very keen on biodynamics, and of the growers he works with many work organically and he says, 'I prefer more sensitive winemaking than a work made by analysis of results'. Nicolas Potel is on a roll and recieving much praise for his efforts in turning out great wines across the price spectrum, which in Burgundy can be enormous. He made this wine with a dash of new oak.

Allen Meadow writes, 'Nicolas Potel 2007 Chambertin-Clos de Beze(sic, is), a naturally spicy and wonderfully broad nose of ripe red berry fruit captures a wide variety of subtle nuances including earth and mineral tones, underbrush, smoke and game hints, all of which can also be found on the rich, pure and even more detailed medium plus weight flavors that possess a beguiling mouth feel and a cool, indeed almost detached personality that is reinforced by a touch of youthful austerity on the long and balanced finish.' As Team tasting more than 15 wines, all Nicolas Potel, at the tasting, we did not really got impression of this detail. However, the wine changes from red to dark fruit, and is spicy and fresh, intense and quite showy among the greats throughout the evening.

The Potels sold its company in 1997. With the break-away from the Cottins, this 2007 vintage and thus this wine is the last vintage when the Potels are really involved in the making, and after that we have to taste wines under the 'brand' Roche de Bellene. This dark, brooding red Nicolas Potel 2007 Chambertin-Clos de Bezeevokes something wild and animal, combining flavors of black cherry, blackberry, smoke and leather in an appealing package. The tannins are dense and prominent, but there's sweet fruit behind them as well. Best from 2014 through 2030, but is very good for now.

Clive Coates writes in his famous book, ‘Putting it brutally, 2007 is the least good red wine Burgundian vintage in the 2005 – 2009 period. Having said that, it must not be assumed that it should be considered beneath contempt. Far from it. While there are few wines, even at the very top levels, with the depth, concentration and intensity one would like to find, there is no shortage of very pleasant, fresh, fruity bottles for drinking in the relatively short term.’ The Tasting Team entirely agree.

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