I’ve returned to Domaine Ponsot to taste the 2022s with Alexandre Abel, the estate’s talented winemaker. Visiting Domaine Ponsot is always a special treat, if one understands and appreciates the Ponsot wines.
Tasting wine is, however, a question of timing and palate (one’s preferences). Despite their repute, the Ponsot wines have never been a sure bet to open, as they frequently require more time in the cellar than many other wines.
A closed-down Ponsot is not necessarily a pleasure. But give them time – and plenty of it – and they will reward you with gorgeous complexity and grace your palate with delightful pinot fruit.
Some don’t have the patience, and I understand this, as there are some wines I don’t want to wait for.
Me and Ponsot
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 it 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 for business 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 its expressive beauty bundled up inside. Not even double decanting will help. While not really closed, it is certainly buckled up! The wines can be somewhat unpredictable, with no schedule or timetable attached. Yet time will often sort the problem.
So give your Ponsot wines time and respect. When they sing, they are gorgeously decadent.
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 had a fairly complex structure, as a relatively large percentage 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 and the family estate to be run by his three sisters.
That domaine is still owned by the Ponsot family, with Rose-Marie Ponsot 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 of visiting Domaine Ponsot for the first time in 1999-2000, when we tasted the 1995 vintage, the 1996s, and the then-decadent ’97s. I have returned more recently, with Alexandre Abel welcoming me to taste the 2020s, and now the 2022 wines.
So here we are on a beautiful, sunny Tuesday overlooking Clos Saint-Denis and Clos de la Roche!
The 2022s at Domaine Ponsot
Domaine Ponsot Saint-Romain Cuvée de la Mesange 2022
The Saint-Romain is fresh and balanced with delicate, ripe fruit, and good liveliness despite the only moderate acidity. This has great drinkability and good hedonistic qualities; enjoyable, and then some.
(Drink From 2024) – Very Good (88-89p) – Tasted 31/10/2023
Domaine Ponsot Corton-Charlemagne 2022
The Corton-Charlemagne is beautifully balanced thanks to grapes from the Pernand-Vergelesses side and from Les Longuettes in Aloxe-Corton. While the malolactic fermentation is not completely done, it is nonetheless showing very well indeed. This is serious, with a fine balance between Pernand’s mineral notes and the ripe fruit from the Aloxe exposure. It has a juicy mid-palate, and is very enjoyable.
(Drink From 2035) – Outstanding (94-95p) – Tasted 31/10/2023 –
Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Monts Luisants 2020
Ponsot’s Monts Luisants is a legendary wine, made from vines planted in 1911. It is now 100% aligoté and is a very, very interesting participant in the aligoté revival. It’s harmonious and balanced (though malo not 100% completed). This is a delicate, refined aligoté. Try it!
(Drink From 2030) – Very Fine (93-94p) – Tasted 31/10/2023 –
Domaine Ponsot Gevery-Chambertin Cuvée de l’Abeille 2022
This was replanted in 2014, and the Cuvée de l’Abeille is now back in production as a village wine. I’ve had beautiful encounters with this wine in the past. I adore its complexity and expressiveness that come with 10 years in the cellar. Currently, it has variations on raspberries, and a delicate, sumptuous feel.
(Drink From 2030) – Very Good (89-90p) – Tasted 31/10/2023
Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Cuvée Les Grives 2022
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. It has a lovely saline note and is really quite a treat, despite being a somewhat atypical Morey with its airy, floral style
(Drink From 2033) – Very Good (90p) – Tasted 31/10/2023
You need to login as a Premium subscriber to read the rest of this article. If you are not a Premium Subscriber, use the subscribe function and sign-up.