Domaine Ponsot Clos de Vougeot Vieilles Vignes (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
A very intense color in appearance. From raspberry red to a deep garnet. The smoothness of its bouquet evokes spring: pink blossoms at dawn, violet under the morning dew, wet reseda. Blackberry, raspberry, wild mint, licorice, truffle. On the palate, a sovereign taste, rich in sap and mellowness, where elegant finesse and fleshy fullness are combined.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 93-95
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.
Containing the largest Grand Cru in all of the Côte d’Or, Vougeot, the village, takes its name from the small stream flowing through it, called Vouge. Over three quarters of the village retains Grand Cru status, and a single vineyard at that: Clos de Vougeot (or simply, Clos Vougeot). Its mass—over 50 ha—retains the single name chiefly for historic reasons.
But today, Clos de Vougeot contains over 80 owners and shows significant soil and slope variations within its boundaries. The top, bordering Musigny and Grands Echezeaux, is calcareous and gravelly on oolitic limestone and exhibits wonderful drainage. The middle sections are limestone, gravel and clay with less of a slope. The lower part has little slant and is mostly made of clay. Historically the diverse parcels were blended but today the abundance of owners means that everyone has his own style. Exploring and understanding them is part of the allure of Clos de Vougeot.
In general a fine Clos de Vougeot when young will be dense and dark but juicy, with a pronounced austerity, and needs a good ten years to bring it to its full potential.
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.”