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Average critic rating : 89.0 points
Smoked meat and (for its vintage) surprising juiciness of dark berries inform the Ponsot 2007 Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvee de l’Abeille, whose sap and invigorating salinity carry through a truly lip-smacking and uplifting finish. While this lacks quite the exuberance of the 2008, it is remarkably bright, savory, and handsomely lean for its vintage, and I would not hesitate to plan on enjoying it for another 6-7 years. ||I asked Laurent Ponsot what he though were the critical factors in avoiding the prevalent pink, under-ripe grapes scattered within the clusters of 2008 vintage Pinot Noir, whose undesirable flavors were bound to have concentrated under the influence of late September wind right along with those of the properly ripe berries. “First of all,” he replied, “you had to prune correctly, which is the beginning of everything – like being in front of a piece of wood or stone as a sculptor and beginning to carve a statue. It’s artistic – not simply something that will determine how many grapes (you end up with). After that, you focus on working with and not in opposition to nature’s cycle. Why are we always the last in Burgundy to pick their grapes? It’s because we pick on time.” In the case of 2008, that meant commencing on the eighth of October; and Ponsot’s 2007s – which taste as though they must come from a completely unfamiliar not to mention remarkably great vintage – were not picked until after the middle of September. “I wasn’t sure in early tastings,” says Ponsot about his 2008s, “that all of the elements would fit together into something harmonious.” For the most part, though, they have – at least, based on my tastings from a range of barrels in late winter. With regard to the distinctively delicious and atypical personality I discovered in Ponsot’s 2007s, readers should bear in mind that he employs some of the lowest levels of sulfur in Burgundy, so there’s no pepping-up going on here by means of dosage, which is seldom employed at all! I couldn’t help thinking as I tasted them: was this much excitement really implicit in 2007 generally and somehow the opportunity to capture it was missed at more than 90% of the addresses where I taste? Incidentally, the big news at Domaine Ponsot last year – although, Laurent Ponsot’s choice of synthetic closures for future bottlings and his remorseless pursuit of forgers and security justifiably made headlines – was that there will be Corton, Corton-Bressandes, and Corton-Charlemagne here beginning with vintage 2009. Wine Advocate.June, 2010
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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