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a double potel – collection bellenum plus clouding the waters…

It’s a late (only 4 days!) addition to the Spring 2012 Burgundy Report – but it doesn’t make sense to leave it in the drawer until (the Summer Report in) July/August to share with you: So here are the notes to a simply exquisite set of mature and maturing wines from Nicolas Potel. Read em and weep as they say ;-)

If the launch of these old wines is a thing to cheer the heart, some of the developments surrounding Nicolas’ old label – in the UK at least – are of less cheer. One retailer is now selling 2006 Maison Nicolas Potel wine, which would be fine, except for the fact the Nicolas says he didn’t make the wine that they are selling. To be clear, Nicolas made all the wines up to and including the 2007 vintage before being asked to leave the company wearing his name. It was then, completely clear to consumers, that anything 2008 onwards should be more carefully scrutinised before buying. The arrival of these ‘older’ wines seems to me depressing news, and that’s because it will now cast a shadow over the whole NP back catalogue – the line in the sand for choosing your bottles/vintages will be washed away by any tide of ‘new’ releases.

Of-course it’s all perfectly legal; the current owners run a négoce company and can, just like Nicolas is doing with his collection Bellenum (linked above), buy and sell older wines. What is ‘unfortunate’ is that they cloud the waters in such a way that you would assume the wines were made by Potel – i.e without differentiation – which, according to him, they were not. The Collection Bellenum, whilst wearing a Maison Roche de Bellene label, also has the Bellenum stamp on that label and a back label that explains that these are old wines backed by Potel, but not made by Potel – I think there is a great difference in approach, don’t you?

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?