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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
17 May 2012

When I tasted the (pretty daunting) range of 2010 burgundies produced under his labels Domaine de Bellene and that of his négociant business Roche de Bellene last December (see Burgundy 2010 A-C), I was intrigued to see the wines being poured from the sort of glass containers shown below.

Usually producers draw samples of unbottled wine straight from cask onwine_thief the spot using the sort of long, thin, glass 'wine thief' illustrated right and pour a sample directly into your glass. This means spending a lot of time moving round a cellar from barrel to barrel. Occasionally a producer who makes many different wines and/or is expecting many different visitors on the same day will draw off a bigger sample and collect it in a small bottle. (This is what happened at my 2011 visit to Domaine Leroy, for example.)

But Nicolas Potel has introduced a new system, based on the carafes shown below. What is cunning about these, with their easily-replaceable metal lids, shown in the foreground on the table, is how easy they are to fill (much easier than a narrow bottleneck), to pour from, and to keep on re-stoppering.

And, just as for bottles, the names of each wine can easily be chalked on the side and then erased. They are made by Solo and sold by the Athenaeum wine shop in Beaune.

See today's tasting notes on Potel's mouthwatering Collection Bellenum of mature burgundies.