2012 Clos de la Roche Domaine Ponsot

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Average critic rating : 95.0 points



The 2012 Clos de la Roche Cuvee Vieilles Vignes has an entrancing bouquet with scents of boysenberry jam, briary, dark plum and raspberry preserve. It is very intense and generous. The palate regains a sense of order after the explosive aromatics with firm tannins, intense black fruit laced with white pepper and a touch of balsamic, leading to a very focus, quite grippy finish with great persistency. This is an outstanding grand cru but perhaps it will be pipped by Clos Saint Denis this year?||Laurent Ponsot, when he is not the Lone Ranger fighting alleged fraud, is busy making wine in his own individual way from his winery perched on the higher reaches overlooking Morey village. As ever, he is refreshingly candid in his views, passionate about the tenets he applies to winemaking, but always counterbalanced with tongue-in-cheek humor. I concentrated on the premier and grand cru 2012s since he was just about to bottle his village crus after one year and they were not ready. He told me that he commenced picking on 3 October, several days later than most winemakers, a date that he assured me he knew as far back as June due to natural indicators, whatever they may be. Yields averaged around 19 hectoliters per hectare, lower for the grand crus, while his famous Aligote from Monts Luisants was wiped out by oidium not from the vines, but from the nearby forest that pricked the flavor of the wine. (I did mischievously quip that I knew of someone in the United States who might be able to rustle some up if so desired – I could not help myself). What I like about Laurent’s wines is that they are edgy, uncompromising, occasionally “Marmite” wines that perhaps like the man himself, goes out to divide opinion and create debate. His strict use of old barrels combined with a dizzying array of grand crus combine to create distinct wines that tend to wear their heart of their sleeves. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013

Based in Morey St Denis, Domaine Ponsot is one of the most important producers in the Côte de Nuits. The domaine has holdings in the Chambertin grands crus and a significant parcel of Clos de la Roche. Most of the remaining holdings are in Morey St Denis, including the unique Clos des Monts Luisants: a white wine made from Aligoté vines planted more than 100 years ago.

Run by Laurent Ponsot since the early 1980s, the wines offer an idiosyncratic expression of excellent Pinot Noir: often difficult in their youth, Ponsot wines have a habit of blossoming with age and, at full maturity, can be breath-taking in their finesse and complexity.

Domaine Ponsot is the largest holder of the grand cru Clos de La Roche, with the Vieilles Vignes Cuvée one of the legendary wines of the Côte de Nuits. In neighbouring Clos St Denis, the vines are now more than 100 years old and the wine is labelled “trés vielles vignes”. As is typical with Clos St Denis, this offers a richer, more powerful expression of Pinot Noir than the more lifted and ethereal Clos de la Roche. Along with Domaine Dujac, Ponsot is the leading producer in these two vineyards.

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