Maison Roche de Bellene is a negociant founded in 2008 by Nicolas Potel, a rising star in Burgundy and the son of the late, legendary Gerard Potel of the highly respected Domaine de la Pousse d’Or in Volnay. After his father’s death in 1997 Nicolas became a negociant and started Maison Nicolas Potel. His wines earned praise from such writers as Clive Coates, but a falling out with his business partners led to Potel’s departure from the firm that still bears his name. Ever the optimist, he bought vineyards and founded yet another negociant business and a domaine. He named his new ventures after Bellene, an ancient Gallic god of the sun. Wine Advocate wrote in 2014 that “Nicolas Potel’s wines have a strong following in the UK, the United States and Japan and for good reason. His wide portfolio of both domaine and negociant wines can be absolutely delicious…” Nicolas Potel makes wines biodynamically.
Corton is a Grand Cru vineyard for red wine within the Corton appellation. It is a long, slender, stony limestone site that wraps part way around the top slopes of Montagne de Corton, a hill that reaches to 1,150 feet. The 234-acre vineyard primarily faces south, west and east, and is sheltered by a windbreak of trees while also receiving excellent exposure to sun. Corton is the Cote de Beaune’s only red Grand Cru. The largest producers are Louis Latour, with 37.5 acres; Hospices de Beaune, with 16 acres; and D'Ardhuy, with 11.85 acres. The names of smaller vineyards within Corton are frequently added to the names of Corton wines, resulting in names such as Corton Les Renardes, Corton Les Chaumes, Corton les Perrieres, etc.
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.