1996 Roche de Bellene "Collection Bellenum" Chambolle-Musigny

SKU #1144508 Jancis Robinson

 I've now had two chances to taste wines from this unique collection of wines that have moved only once in their lives, from the original cellar to Potel's. (All bottles are numbered and a back label spells out how many bottles there are in total and, in future, on which date they moved to Potel in Beaune.) I'd say they magnificently reflect the reality of Burgundy in that they are very varied, provide a thoroughly useful overview of how different vintages are developing, and include some completely stunning wines that are not Grands Crus, not even Premiers Crus but are simple village wines.  (5/ 2012)

K&L Notes

Sourced by Nicolas Potel from cellars in Burgundy, from which they have not moved since original bottling, these are an exciting find. From Nicolas Potel's 7,000 case collection of Burgundy, "Collection Bellenum," according to Burgundy Report: " To get to this stage he actually tasted over 2,500 wines – now he is beginning their promotion, both here and in the US. It’s an interesting and, at this scale, unique offer. The wines wear his (Roche de Bellene) négociant label and, hence, have his seal of approval/quality control; they all retain their original corks...so if you stump up the sum requested you may also know whose wine you are drinking." (2012)

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Price: $99.95

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Burgundy

- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north. View our bestselling Burgundy.