Roger and Julie Belland are 5th and 6th generation winemakers in the Cote de Beaune village of Santenay, where their family has been making wine since 1839. The Bellands are recognized as among the very best winemakers in the village, and we find that their wines drink well earlier than most. There is a generosity in the wines of Santenay that is particularly attractive.
The family’s vines are not limited to Santenay. In addition to a substantial parcel in the white Grand Cru vineyard Criots-Batard-Montrachet, they own the Chassagne-Montrachet premier cru monopole “Clos Pitois,” a large vineyard in the Morgeot sector, along the border with Santenay. As one might expect, the vineyard produces first-rate white Chassagne — powerful and rich white wines that epitomize the character of the village. What is less well known is the half of the vineyard planted to Pinot Noir. From this they make a robust red Burgundy, structured and pure, a wine that usually needs a few years to show its best.
The Santenays are also in two colors: whites that resemble white Chassagne at a more pleasing price; and reds that in most years are open, drinkable and pleasant from the time they are put into bottles. We most often offer the reds from the premier cru “Beauregard” vineyard, but from time to time we find wines from their other premier cru vineyards particularly attractive, and we offer them as well. Just to the south of Santenay is Maranges, a little-known appellation that only recently was included in the communes of the Cote d’Or. Its wines are less complex than those of Santenay, but they always offer very good value and in some years their quality can be exceptional. The Bellands also have a fine village plot in Pommard, which we offer in the years we find it particularly attractive.