Domaine Ponsot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 91-94
Vineyard Brands has history spanning more than 40 years of buying wines from Domaine Ponsot - first from Hippolyte Ponsot, later from his son Jean-Marie, and most recently from Laurent and Rose-Marie. Domaine Ponsot’s history begins in 1872 when William Ponsot purchased a wine estate in Morey-Saint-Denis and set up his home there. His major parcels of land at that time were the Clos des Monts-Luisants and Clos de la Roche. His nephew and godson, Hippolyte Ponsot, took over the domaine in 1920, and in 1932 started bottling his entire harvest at the domaine, a rarity for the time. Eventually estate was passed down to Hippolyte’s son Jean-Marie, and later to Jean-Marie’s children, Laurent and Rose-Marie. Today, Rose-Marie Ponsot is the sole director of the company, seconded by Alexandre Abel. Unfettered by the latest fashions, Domaine Ponsot has always sought to express the richness of Burgundy terroir through natural cultivation practices. Human intervention is limited and only applied to the help that the vine needs. The family’s long tradition of letting nature take the lead work that today the vineyards are in exceptional condition.
This small village is home to the Grands Crus in the farthest northerly stretches of Côte de Nuits and is famous for some of the deepest and firmest Burgundian Pinot Noir.
Gevrey boasts nine Grands Crus, the best of which are arguably Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. As with all of the fragmented vineyards of Burgundy, it isn’t easy to differentiate between the two, which are situated adjacent with Clos de Bèze slightly further up the hill than Le Chambertin. Clos de Bèze has a shallower soil and if you’re really counting, may produce wines less intense but more likely to charm. Some compare Le Chambertin in both power and plentitude only to the prized Romanée-Conti Grand Cru farther south in Vosne-Romanée.
Two other Grands Crus vineyards, Mazis-Chambertin (also written Mazy-) and Latricières-Chambertin command almost as much regard as Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. The upper part of Mazy, called Les Mazis Haut is the best and Latricières-Chambertin offers an abundance of juicy fruit and a silky texture in the warmer vintages.
Other Grands Crus are Ruchottes-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Mazoyères-Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin and Chapelle-Chambertin.
The most respected Pinot Noir wines from Gevrey-Chambertin are robust and powerful but at the same time, velvety and expressive: black fruit, black liquorice and chocolate come into play. After some time in the bottle, the wines are harmonious with bright and sometimes candied fruit, and aromas of musk, truffle and forest floor. These have staying power.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”