Nicolas Potel Mâcon-Villages 2012
Wine: Nicholas Potel
Region: Mâcon-Villages, Burgundy
I've been working behind the bar at The Carriage for a few weeks now. There's about a decade between today and the decade I spent in the food service industry and, let's just say the re-entry has been physically surprising. I underestimated how exhausted I would be at the end of a five-hour shift. I also underestimated how much fun it would be to talk to people face to face about wine. Not everyone is interested in the details, but many, if not most, appreciate the nuanced suggestions
We've been pouring this Nicolas Potel Mâcon-Villages 2012 for a week now and last night in particular, it was a big hit. A group of 10 or 12 women sat on the patio through dusk sipping rosé, the Carriage Tonic (a refreshing port wine cocktail over ice) and the Mâcon-Villages. When one of the women asked for a second glass, she said, "It was the way you described it..." and then quoted myself back to me, something like "subtle oak and elegance." It's the smallest response that makes all the difference. When someone who tries a wine for the first time and says, "I love this!" I feel that I've done good work. Being in wine is all about getting into more wine, which is to say, discovery.
The Macon-Villages appellation sits just south of Burgundy proper, where the 1er and grand cru vineyards of the Côte des Nuits and Côte de Beaune produce some of the world's most prestigious wines. Both red and white are made in the Mâconnais, though it is best known for it's fresh, early drinking chardonnays.
I found some distinctive nutty and caramel aromas that suggested oak, though Potel's technical notes say the wine was fermented in tank. The notes are also verbatim for vintages 2009 through 2013. Not particularly inspiring. 2012 was a difficult year in Burgundy, though less so in Mâcon; perhaps the weather and a bit of age has influenced those aromas I mistook for oak. In any case, green fruit and hints of minerality float from the glass, followed by a beautiful acidity and medium-bodied mouthfeel. It's quite lovely.