I like the wines I’m seeing from Saint-Romain….it’s a lovely little wine village…you leave Beaune heading through Pommard and Volnay, the road skirts between Monthelie and Meursault before arriving in the pretty town of Auxey-Duresses and you carry on sweeping to the right and into a side valley with an imposing limestone cliff standing sentinel over the sleepy village of Saint-Romain.
A couple of famous tonnellerie tucked away down this little valley too….one is Francois Frères whose barrels are used by the whos who of great wines….Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Coche-Dury….you name it. And the other is Gillet who also make some great oaky gear. If you are visiting the area, I’d recommend visiting one of these tonnelleries….fascinating stuff seeing how the barrels get put together and real artisan stuff.
There are 93.3 ha of vines here within the commune and it is noticibly higher at around 400m above sea level….the climate is cooler and there is a higher percentage of limestone in the soils which lead to wines with a driving line and a fresh minerality to their structure. There are no premier cru vineyards here as yet though there are moves afoot to make this a possibility in the future.
That is exactly where the grapes from this wine come from….with an average age of 52 year, the Chardonnay vines lie on a South-East aspect on soils of clay and limestone and the three sites that are the source of this wine, according to winemaker Nicolas Potel, would be destined for 1er status if and when the powers that be get their bums into gear.
The Domaine de Bellène HQ is actually located in Beaune and they source their fruit from a variety of sites throughout both the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. The Domaine sprang to life in 2005 when, due to legal complications he wound down Domaine Nicolas Potel and concentrated on organics with the hope of having the first organic winery in Burgundy including his négoce wines which appear under the Maison Roche de Bellène label.
The Domaine now farms a total of 24 ha throughout the Côte. The grapes are hand picked and fermentation takes place utilising natural yeasts. The wine goes through 100% malolactic and the elevage is in 40% new French oak.
Pale straw in hue with inviting aromas of white peach, pithy lemon and grapefruit followed with hints of dried honey, soft spice, grilled nuts, jasmine and nougat. There are bright minerally aromas and an light endearing waft of mealy rolled oats further in the background. Lovely definition and clarity to the aromas here.
Great clarity on the palate also with a surprising sapid spring to its step. Lovely pure, juicy peach fruit ably supported by pithy citrus in the form of lemon and grapefruit. Light cashewy oak notes mesh with soft baking spices, cinnamon, nougat and almond paste with plenty of minerally goodness and an attractive wash of light oatmeal and dried honey which carries along admirably on the finish.
The wine possesses a lovely, sapid, stony line of acidity with excellent tension and a sleek shape across the palate with just a touch of baby fat. A real charmer and great value for money.
Price: $50 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol:13% – Source: Sample – Importer: Prince Wine Store