1995 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Domaine Ponsot

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Average critic rating : 85.0 points



In my article on Ponsot's 1995s out of barrel, I heaped considerable praise on the Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes, describing it as "prodigious", and going so far as to say that "I would not be surprised if it deserved a perfect rating!" At my recent tasting I found it to be light-to-medium ruby-colored with an amber edge. Its slightly alcoholic nose is reminiscent of cherry-flavored Bubbleyum bubblegum mixed with white pepper and grapefruit. On the palate, this wine is a pale shadow of its former self. Amidst an earthy, stony, red pit fruit-flavored, and medium-bodied core, there remains a ghost-like trace of the richness and ripeness I originally had seen in this wine. After it had been opened for 48 hours I re-visited it. To its credit, this Clos de la Roche had not deteriorated, yet it had not gotten any better either. I will not be drinking my remaining bottles in the near term as I want to see if Laurent Ponsot's assertion that these wines will regain their fruit in time is correct. However, I cannot recommend the same course of action to readers as I see no reason to believe that cellaring will help this wine. Wine Advocate.October, 1999

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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