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NEW RELEASES: The outstanding 2019s from Burgundy's Domaine Ponsot

June 2021

The outstanding 2019s from Burgundy's Domaine Ponsot

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‘One of the most distinguished domaines of the Côte de Nuits’. So wrote Anthony Hanson MW over 25 years ago in the introduction to Domaine Ponsot in his seminal book, Burgundy. More recently William Kelley commented, in a retrospective of Ponsot’s routinely excellent Clos de la Roche: ‘What’s more, the vintages of the last decade or so have been purer and more vibrant than any of the wines produced between 1991 and 1999. In its singular style, in short, Domaine Ponsot’s Clos de la Roche is today one of the greatest wines produced in the Côte de Nuits.’
 
Domaine Ponsot is indisputably one of the great addresses of Burgundy, a remarkable estate for many reasons, not least of which that 79% of its entire vineyard holding is Grand Cru, and a further 13% Premier Cru. As owner Rose-Marie Ponsot often jokes, if you want to buy a case of Ponsot Bourgogne Rouge, you’ll need to make a balancing order for one or two Grands Crus, an unusual inversion of the more typical obligation.
 
The history of the domaine goes back to 1872, when William Ponsot bought an estate in Morey-St Denis which included significant parcels in Clos des Monts Luisants and Clos de la Roche, two vineyards that continue to underpin the domaine today. Throughout the 20th century, the domaine was a significant pioneer of innovation. Back in the 1930s, Hippolyte Ponsot was one of the co-founders of the Appellation d’Origine Controlée system, while his son Jean-Marie was a pioneer of clonal selection of vines in the mid-twentieth century, with a number of the most successful and well-known Pinot Noir clones globally deriving from Ponsot’s Clos de la Roche vineyard. Latterly, Laurent Ponsot took on the problem of cork as a closure through the 1990s as well as famously dedicating much time and effort to combatting counterfeit fine wine.
 
In 2017, Rose-Marie Ponsot took over the management of the domaine and brought in Alexandre Abel as head winemaker. Together they have now overseen four vintages, starting in 2017. They have built on the trend of innovation that is second nature at Domaine Ponsot and continue to perfect their approach. As has been the case at Domaine Ponsot for decades, no new oak is employed for the elevage of the wines, allowing a pure expression of each vineyard. Their approach to viticulture is respectful of nature and minimal intervention is the watchword. Alexandre has implemented changes of his own, dividing vineyard parcels into smaller sections that respect soil variation, clones, vine age thereby allowing for each plot to be micromanaged. When talking to me about the 2019 harvest, Alexandre explained they have to be adaptable to the variations of each plot, and consequently this led to “two harvests, 4 days apart in the same parcels in Clos de la Roche” in the 2019 vintage. His work has only taken on greater significance as Burgundy adjusts to warmer and drier vintages and the task of retaining freshness and elegance becomes more challenging. Alexandre believes that they have been able to retain their precision in recent vintages by “really zoning in on parcels whether because of vine age, clonal material, or soil variations”.
 
The 2019s that I tasted a couple of weeks ago here in the office were certainly outstanding examples, striking for their difference to the denser, deeper, more powerful 2018s. The Morey-St Denis 1er Cru, Cuvée des Alouettes showed a pure, scented, floral quality on the nose which led to a palate of ripe blue and red fruit, flowing, palate-caressing and ethereal with a typical touch of Morey spice and mineral tension lifting the finish. The Clos de la Roche Grand Cru had a profound, concentrated dark fruit core without any sense of over-ripeness, and a palate of power and volume as anticipated, yet with a sense of weightlessness too, a refined, beautifully balanced and multi-layered finish with rich, ripe tannins and incredible persistence. The Morey-St Denis Blanc 1er Cru, Clos des Monts Luisants showed ripe lemon citrus fruit, great purity and a heightened minerality, a wine all about freshness and mineral tension. The intensity of fruit derived of the astonishing old vines (in excess of 110 years old) make such a contribution to this unique white Burgundy, there is simply no wine that compares to this style.
 
I tasted a selection of three samples as mentioned above, but I include the notes of William Kelley of The Wine Advocate below for your interest.

2019 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ponsot

£1,800 per 6 bottle case in bond
£1,850 per 3 magnum case in bond
£1,500 per jeroboam (3l) in bond  
95-97+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

The king of the cellar is predictably the 2019 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, and equally predictably, it was the most reserved and introverted wine in the cellar when I visited. Wafting from the glass with aromas of peonies, plums, cherries, orange rind, warm spices and rich soil tones, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with huge concentration, an elegantly muscular chassis of rich, powdery tannins and a long, resonant finish

2019 Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Ponsot
£1,425 per 3 magnum case in bond
94-96 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

Another terrific success is the 2019 Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, a full-bodied, deep and concentrated wine that's supple and layered, evocative of cherries, cassis, plums, violets and spices. Deep and seamless, it concludes with a perfumed, bergamot-inflected finish.
 
2019 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cuvée des Merles, Domaine Ponsot
£1,125 per 6 bottle case in bond
93-95 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

Aromas of peonies, cinnamon, orange rind, plums and warm spices introduce the 2019 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Cuvée des Merles, a full-bodied, layered and enveloping wine that's seamless and complete. Lively but gourmand, this is one of the highlights of the Ponsot portfolio this year.
ponsot-clos-de-la-roche-2013 - Copy

2019 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Domaine Ponsot
£1,200 per 6 bottle case in bond
93-95 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

Aromas of cassis, peonies, sweet spices, orange rind and plums preface Ponsot's 2019 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, a full-bodied, muscular and concentrated wine that's rich and powerful, with plenty of powdery tannin and deep reserves of lively fruit. Five barrels were produced, from one parcel in the lieu-dit Petit Maupertuis and another located below the Château de La Tour.
 

2019 Corton Grand Cru, Cuvée du Bourdon, Domaine Ponsot
£750 per 6 bottle case in bond
92-94 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

The 2019 Corton Grand Cru Cuvée du Bourdon is especially promising this year, delivering a complex bouquet of red berries, raw cocoa, rose petals and sweet soil tones. Medium to full-bodied, layered and lively, it's vibrant and concentrated, with powdery tannins and a saline finish. It's the usual blend of 60% Les Paulands, 20% Les Perrières and 20% Clos du Roi.
 

2019 Morey-St Denis 1er Cru, Cuvée des Alouettes, Domaine Ponsot
£435 per 6 bottle case in bond
£475 per 3 magnum case in bond
91-93+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

The 2019 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Cuvée des Alouettes opens in the glass with notes of plums, cherries, raw cocoa, cinnamon and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and fleshy, it's layered and elegantly gourmand, with lively acids and a precise, mineral finish. As usual, this hails entirely from the Clos de Monts Luisants, but the domaine opts not to mention the lieu-dit on the label to avoid confusion with their emblematic white wine from the same vineyard.
 
2019 Morey-St Denis, Cuvée des Grives, Domaine Ponsot
£245 per 6 bottle case in bond
89-91 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

Opening in the glass with notes of plums, cherries and peonies, the 2019 Morey-Saint-Denis Cuvée des Grives is medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety, its lively core of fruit framed by powdery tannins. Uniting the concentration of the 2018 with the charm of the 2017, this is promising.
 

2019 Bourgogne Rouge, Cuvée du Pinson, Domaine Ponsot
£140 per 6 bottle case in bond
87-89 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

Aromas of plums, red berries, petals and warm spices preface Ponsot's 2019 Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée du Pinson, a medium to full-bodied, charming wine with a lively core of fruit and melting tannins.
 
2019 Morey-St Denis Blanc 1er Cru, Clos des Monts Luisants, Domaine Ponsot
£435 per 6 bottle case in bond
92-94+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 

The 2019 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Clos des Monts Luisants Blanc wafts from the glass with notes of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, white flowers and pastry cream. Full-bodied, layered and incisive, it's concentrated and chiseled, concluding with a long, saline finish. This site seems to go from strength to strength in these warmer vintages.
 
2019 St Romain Blanc, Cuvée de la Mésange, Domaine Ponsot
£185 per 6 bottle case in bond
88-90 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
 
Notes of orchard fruit, fresh bread and pastry cream introduce the 2019 Saint-Romain Cuvée de la Mésange, a medium-bodied, lively and succulent wine that's bright and saline.


Please let us know of your interest and please don’t forget to balance your order!
 
Take care,
 
Richard


To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0) 20 3017 2299, info@atlasfinewines.com or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis. 

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Atlas Fine Wines Ltd. 

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T: +44 (0) 20 3017 2299
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