I always enjoy my visits chez Potel; the wines usually offer value, start with ‘good quality’ as a baseline, and occasional cuvées can be stunning. More importantly, because the house style is largely consistent and neutral (and you have a wide palate of cuvées), you can get a great feel for the vintage in almost half a day, without the wood getting in the way.
First up a few whites that are already bottled. Fabrice Lesne has been working at the domaine for a while now, his prior experience came at the Hospices de Nuits, Domaine Bertagna and also looking after the Meursaults of Bouchard Père et Fils. After going through the bottles Fabrice put me on the spot and asked with a smile, “so, what did you think?” I replied that I preferred the delivery and minerality of his 2004’s as the 05’s seem rather rich at the moment – he shrugged – keeping his big smile and said “of-course, but that’s the vintage!”
There’s a lot of wine packed into these bottles and it will be interesting to see how they settle. Today they all more about rich and poweful delivery, than taught, structured intensity – many will prefer them to the 2004’s – but not me, not yet.
2005 Nicolas Potel, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie
Medium lemon-yellow. The nose is high-toned with a little citrus and deep segments of fruit. Rich but round flavours expand in the mid-palate and show good length. This is a clean, powerful and quite interesting wine.
Rebuy – Yes
2005 Nicolas Potel, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs-Canet
This wine hails from the Meursault side of the appellation. The nose is narrower, tigher and more melon influenced – it really doesn’t give any clues to the label. The palate is quite opulent, almost 2003 in delivery – though with much better acidity. On the finish there is still a texture from the oak – nothing major, and it will probably be gone within 6 months. Again this is a rich, powerful wine that today shows none of the classic Puligny tension.
Rebuy – Maybe
2005 Nicolas Potel, Meursault 1er Genevrières
A nose of real width, at it’s centre an intense core of agrumes with (perhaps) just an edge of marzipan. A soft and understated entry, but real mid-palate power is evident that effortlessly carries into the finish which today mainly shows sweet oak flavour.
Rebuy – Maybe