To good beginnings! When I began collecting Burgundies in the early 1990s, I started out by buying some Ponsot wines, including the 1988 Clos de la Roche, which was already regarded as one of the top cuvées in Burgundy. I followed that with some 1990 Griottes-Chambertin. Those wines are long gone, but ever since then, Ponsot has had a special place in my heart.
When a Ponsot wine is open and shining in all its beauty, one feels the morning sun breaking through the dusky skies of the Côte d’Or. These wines are graced with elegance and finesse.
If, however, a Ponsot wine is grumpy, it will keep all its expressive beauty bundled up inside. Not even double decanting will help. While not really closed, it’s certainly buckled up! The wines can be somewhat unpredictable, with no schedule or timetable attached. Yet time – plenty of time – will often sort the problem.
So give your Ponsot wines time and respect. They are gorgeously decadent when they sing.
The status of Ponsot – the short version
Domaine Ponsot is an historic estate. Until 2017, it was fronted by Laurent Ponsot, although ownership was shared equally among him and his three sisters.
The domaine was a rather complex structure, as a relatively large part of the vineyards were rented: from 1982, from the Mercier family of Domaine Chezeaux; and in recent years, from other owners.
In 2017, however, Laurent Ponsot decided to leave the family estate and take with him the rented vineyards, leaving the family vineyards with the family estate run by his three sisters.
That domaine is still owned by the Ponsot family, with Rose-Marie Ponsot now the sole director. Rose-Marie, who helped Laurent manage the estate while he was there, is now seconded by Alexandre Abel, who is in charge of winemaking.
I had the privilege recently of visiting Domaine Ponsot for the first time in 22 years. I first visited in 1999-2000, when we tasted the 1995 vintage, the 1996s, and the then-decadent 1997s.
This time it was Alexandre Abel who welcomed me, and The Winehog was offered a fine tasting of the 2020s.
The 2020s at Domaine Ponsot
Domaine Ponsot Saint-Romain Cuvée de la Mesanges 2020
The Saint-Romain is pure and vivid, with good length and density. It’s lively and expressive, with a rather delicate expression of fruit. In my book, a lovely wine that was created by the unique balance of the vintage.
(Drink From 2024) – Very Good (88-89p) – Tasted 02/12/2021
Domaine Ponsot Corton-Charlemagne 2020
The Corton-Charlemagne is quite a hit, with 2020 offering a beautiful marriage between the vineyard’s austerity and the vintage’s generosity. It’s somewhat reduced, but also deep and very intense. From the terroir Les Longuettes, it has a rich stance and good balance between mineral notes and the ripe fruit from the southern exposure.
(Drink From 2035) – Outstanding (94-95p) – Tasted 02/12/2021 –
Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Mont Luisants 2020
Ponsot’s Mont Luisants is a legendary wine, made from very old vines planted in 1911. It is now 100% aligoté, and is a very, very interesting participant in the aligoté revival. In 2020 it’s rich and velvety, but with very fine acidity. The ripeness level is very good indeed, giving the classic greatness aligotés can possess if they get the time needed for phenolic ripeness. A special wine; a unique wine.
(Drink From 2030) – Very Fine (93-94p) – Tasted 02/12/2021 –
Domaine Ponsot Bourgogne Cuvée du Pinson
The Pinson is pure, lively, and with good tension. A vin de soif, it has no pretensions, and was not extracted beyond its terroir – a lovely balance. It’s not necessarily simple to strike an “easy” drinkable balance in this serious vintage.
(Drink From 2022) – Good (87p) – Tasted 02/12/2021
Domaine Ponsot Gevery-Chambertin New Cuvée 2020
This was planted in 2014, after the Cuvée de l’Abeille. Young vines do give less depth, but the wine is vivid and lively, showing an intense, floral side. The Ponsot Gevrey village always shows beautifully after ten years – or more – of cellaring. Don’t forget to buy some!
(Drink From 2030) – Very Good (88-89p) – Tasted 02/12/2021
Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Cuvée Les Grives 2020
This is from the very top of Monts Luisants, just below the forest. The lighter soil gives delicate, floral fruit, and again, Ponsot has done perfect work with the extraction level. The result is elegant and almost seductive. It will need a bit of time, but this is a beautiful wine.
(Drink From 2032) – Very Good (90p) – Tasted 02/12/2021
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