Maison Nicolas Potel is a negociant started in Burgundy in the late 1990s by Nicolas Potel, son of the legendary winemaker Gerard Potel, who founded Domaine de la Pousse d’Or in Volnay. After Gerard’s death in 1997 Nicolas started the negociant business, but a falling out with his business partners in 2009 forced him out of the business that still bears his name. The company is now owned and operated by the brothers Louis and Armand Cottin of Maison Laboure-Roi, a nearly two-hundred year old Burgundy negociant. Nicolas Potel has had no connection with Maison Nicolas Potel since 2009. The Maison offers a large portfolio of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and other Burgundies.
Volnay is a small appellation with just 904 vineyard acres and a town of fewer than 500 residents. Nevertheless, to Burgundy enthusiasts, it's a jewel. Clive Coates calls Volnay “one of the most delightful wines and one of the most rewarding communes in the Côte d’Or.” Robert M. Parker Jr. described Volnay as “the queen of the Côte de Beaune.” Volnay has always been appealing. In the 13th and 14th centuries the powerful Dukes of Burgundy acquired land there and built chateaux. The medieval town sits on the hillside above the vineyards and the appellation is restricted to red wines made of Pinot Noir. Though there are no Grands Crus, there are 35 Premiers Crus. Some reviewers say the lighter soil of Volnay, compared with Pommard to the north, makes Volnay wines more delicate and elegant than wines from neighboring appellations. Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote that Volnay has a “high-quality level of winemaking…The top Volnays possess an immense, seductive fruitiness and lushness…”
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.