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2009 Potel Nicolas, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles VignesFeb. 2012
A little green mint-leaf twists through the red fruit – it’s not a particularly ripe nose, even before you factor-in the 2009 vintage, but there’s nothing off-putting. In the mouth there is lots that is unripe, sone greenness to the flavours and although there’s not a lot of tannin, it has some astringency attached. Drinkable, but a long way from interesting…
2009 Potel Nicolas, Bourgogne Chardonnay Vieilles VignesAug. 2011
Pale colour. Very little to say aromatically – tight as a drum. In the mouth flat, close to flabby – clearly low acidity. The flavours are non-descript and bland. Nobody wanted their glasses to be topped up.
1998 Potel Nicolas, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les SerpentièresMay. 2011
The last bottle from a six-pack – and what a great buy they were. Musky red strawberry and a hint of raspberry – aromatically involving – just lovely. The palate has none of the astringency of some from the vintage, more a melted whole of soft texture and sweet-acid balance. Plenty of very fine silt in the bottom of this bottle, but the cloudiness of the last glass did nothing to spoil the flavours and aromas. A winner.
1999 Potel Nicolas, Volnay En ChevretMar. 2011
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose shows a hint of maturity, layers of aroma cover a tighter core of dark fruit – a little Pommard in style – then below are flashed of pure dark fruit. In the mouth, there’s super balance and plenty of intensity from the still-young flavours. I’d say the palate needs another 3 or 4 years to similar maturity to the nose. Lots of complexity here – drunk far too quickly to be honest!
2002 Potel Nicolas, Vosne-Romanée Les MalconsortsSep. 2010
Medium colour. This has limited aromatic width, but what depth! There’s a lot of Vosne about the nose; spice, ginger and warmer fruit at the base. In the mouth this has something in common with the nose – not really a grand cru impact, but absolutely a grand cru complexity, mid-palate dimension and finish – the acidity focusing and extending the length. This is seriously good and much more open than I had right to expect from a 2002. Lovely wine.
2006 Potel Nicolas, Chambolle-Musigny Les FuéesSep. 2010
Medium-plus colour. The nose has depth and almost texture; sometimes when you have brett there’s a texture impression, and I have it here, but it seems clean enough. The fruit is dark and occasionally gives flashes of brilliance. It’s fresh and intense, keep it in your mouth and it becomes even more intense as the acidity penetrates your tongue. The tannin really only shows itself – and mildly – from the mid-palate into the finish and as a slightly bitter but flavour adhering additive – hmm, licorice I think. Actually there is more flavour in the finish than you get at the start – it really builds and builds. Overall – full-packed, hinting to rustic but full of interest and I might even say fun! If the nose didn’t slowly develop a more floral and pretty ‘whole’ I don’t think you’d ever have ‘Chambolle’ as your first guess – I suppose that’s the proximity to Bonnes-Mares for you. I’m happy to have a couple of larger format bottles to work through from 2020 onwards!
2002 Potel Nicolas, Aloxe-Corton Les BoutièresJul. 2010
Bottle 7 from 12. On opening I hardly recognise this wine – the colour still has that young medium-plus cherry-red hue, but the nose has a slightly ashy, oaky aroma and the flavours are quite strident – what’s needed is a little aeration. Et voila: 3 minutes from opening this is aromatically singing, creamy deep redcurrant, indeed so creamy it’s faintly lactic but it is really wonderful. At the core there is a hint of something a little more mature, the ashy element has become a hint of leafy undergrowth, but just a hint. Clearly the acidity is a little ascendant now, but the mid-palate concentration remains enough that the wine is not mortally compromised and there is still an edge of tannin too. A long way from real maturity and still showing sufficient density and energy to keep me coming back for more.
1997 Potel Nicolas, EchézeauxJul. 2010
I’d brought a bottle of this for us to enjoy as a mark of Nicolas’s first production vintage under his own name (the few 1996s were bottlings of finished wine). Sadly it had some cork-related taint. I didn’t spot while tasting those wines above that Nicolas had arranged to get a replacement from his own stock. ”What a baby!’ was his reaction when he sniffed it. I found good freshness to the aromas; some earth, herbs and a dark fruit component. Lots of width and a good texture. A wine to savour, and yes, still a baby!
2006 Potel Nicolas, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles VignesFeb. 2010
Medium, medium-plus colour. A wide panorama of aromas; acid cherries, a deep, dark, slightly musky base and some violet aromas above – lots of interesting components if not quite a ‘together’ impression. The texture is okay, you’re drawn to the slight astringency more than anything, but there is an excellent intensity for a villages wine. Reasonably narrow on entry but the flavour becomes ever-wider and and quite long too. There’s plenty of slightly floral pot-pourri together with the fruit. Good acidity and an evident back-bone of structure. No simple ‘villages’ this, today it’s not perfectly ‘together’ either aromatically or in the mouth – it will need some cellar time – but the basics are here for a very good performance. Wait – perhaps – another 5 years or-so…
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