Invoke the hoo!
We have a new friend in our Friends of Ernie Portfolio!
Loosen Bros. USA, our U.S. import company, has finalized an agreement with Burgundy winemaker Nicolas Potel to become the sole U.S. importer for the wines of his new estate, Domaine de Bellene, and his new négociant company, Maison Roche de Bellene. Both are based in Beaune, at the very heart of the Burgundy wine region.
About Domaine de Bellene
Domaine de Bellene is a 24-hectare (59 acre) estate, with parcels in the villages of Beaune, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Saint-Roman, Santenay, Savigny-les-Beaune, Volnay and Vosne-Romanée. The focus is on expressive, terroir-driven wines from old vines (minimum 35 years old). The vineyards have been farmed according to Biodynamic practices since 2006 and are now certified BIO.
Vinification is minimalist in approach — no enzymes, cultured yeasts, chaptalization or acid adjustments are used and filtration is avoided. Nicolas purchased the 16th century estate buildings in 2005 and is working to renovate them in as green a manner as possible. Environmental responsibility is being integrated into all aspects of the estate: buildings, vineyards, cellar work, energy conservation and production, and packaging materials.
Maison Roche de Bellene
Maison Roche de Bellene is a new négociant house that Nicolas founded in 2009, after his departure from his former négociant company, Maison Nicolas Potel. The terroir-focused winemaking philosophy is the same as when Nicolas founded the original Maison in 1998. He has maintained his relationships with many of the same growers that he’s been working with for the past 15 years, and is continually finding new fruit sources — especially those with old vines. The range of wines at Maison Roche de Bellene includes a broad selection of Villages, Premier Cru and Grand Cru appellations from both the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits. (Please note: Nicolas Potel is no longer associated with the négociant company, Maison Nicolas Potel, now wholly owned by Cottin Frères.)
One of Ernie Loosen’s Favorite Winemakers in Burgundy
Ernie Loosen is most well-known for the Rieslings he produces at Dr. Loosen in the Mosel region and J.L. Wolf in the Pfalz region of Germany. But he is also a dedicated fan of Pinot Noir, especially from Burgundy, and has been friends with Nicolas Potel for many years. When the opportunity arose for Loosen Bros. USA to become the importer for Potel’s new Domaine and Maison, Ernie was thrilled.
“Nicolas is one of my favorite winemakers in Burgundy, and I’ve been buying his wines for years,” he says. “We’ve become great friends, and when he told me he was looking for an importer for his new venture, I was very excited. He works harder than anybody, and he’s a winemaking perfectionist like his father [the late Gérard Potel, former owner of Domaine de la Pousse d’Or]. It’s going to be a lot of fun working with him.”
First Shipments Will Arrive in October
Loosen Bros. USA Vice President Kirk Wille says the first shipments of 2009 vintage wines from Domaine de Bellene and Maison Roche de Bellene will begin to arrive in early October, 2011. “We’re nearly through the bureaucratic maze of regulatory compliance,” he says. “All of us in the U.S. company are huge Burgundy fans, too, so we’re really looking forward to having Nicolas join our small ‘Friends of Ernie Loosen’ portfolio.”
More information about Domaine de Bellene
More information about Maison Roche de Bellene
Members of the trade: If you want to explore these new wines in our portfolio, email Doug Krenik or phone 720.237.8170.
About Nicolas Potel
Nicolas Potel grew up at Domaine de la Pousse d’Or, his father’s wine estate in Volnay. As a young man he worked at a number of different wineries in Australia and California, as well as several other Burgundy estates. He returned to Domaine de la Pousse d’Or in 1992 and worked there until his father’s sudden death in 1997. Nicolas founded Maison Nicolas Potel in 1998, which was sold to Cottin Frères in 2004, although he stayed on as winemaker. In 2005 he founded Domaine Nicolas Potel, which was renamed Domine de Bellene after the dissolution of his business association with Cottin Frères in 2009. Now he is completely focused on his own Domaine and Maison.
About the name “Bellene”
The origin of the name Bellene comes from Belenos, an ancient Gallic god of sun and beauty, similar to the Greek god, Apollo, and the Celtic sun god. During Roman times, the city of Beaune was called Belena. In the Middle Ages Belena was renamed Bellene, and then Baulne, finally becoming Beaune in the 18th century.