Black Ink home

On the Break of Dawn

Domaine Ponsot


Domaine Ponsot

We had an appointment with Laurent Ponsont as early as seven in the morning - but getting up early is a small price to pay for a chance to sample these wines! When we arrived it was still dark at the estate, but of course Laurent was up and about and presented his 1999 vintage to us. His German is excellent, and he explained that the Domaine Ponsot does not have a 'method' of growing wine but rather tries to interact as little as possible with the natural process. Laurent Ponsont says that growing wines is like bringing up children. Despite all efforts you never know how they are going to turn out. The wine is bottled one week prior to the new moon every year. Laurent says he doesn't know why but it just works. On the slopes organic methods are used, without having a policy of organic farming. According to Laurent potash is never used for fertilisation so that the problems others have to deal with never occur. Only natural yeast is used for fermenting. No sulphur is used, although this presents a risk, which is being minimised by the use of nitrogen gas to prevent oxidation. New wood is never used as in Laurent's view it covers up the nuances of the Terroir. The most important aspect in Burgundy is the soil, which should be accented rather than blurring it by wood.

The domain was the first one on the Côte to grow clones of especially good vines; today they serve as the basis of wines of many of the finest estates of Burgundy.

Unfortunately we weren't able to purchase wine - just like with many other producers of the Côte d'Or the complete harvest was already reserved for old customers.

Laurent Ponsot

Barrel samples:

Morey-St.-Denis 1er Cru 1999
Still some yeast, apple, plum, chocolate and earthy touches. A fine Moray.

Griotte-Chambertin 1999
Still some carbon dioxide. Very fine tannin, still some yeast, cherry and Terroir tones.

Clos de la Roche Vielles Vignes 1999
Good red colour. Wild plums and prunes. Very fine tannin, full-bodied. Intensive and still closed. Terroir.

Morey-St.-Denis Clos de Moints Luisants 1999 (blanc)
A white Premier Cru of the Côte de Nuits, and the only Premier Cru which mainly consists of Aligote, by now 80%. It is made from very old vines, dating from 1911, which despite their age still give a good yield. This wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation. It is often mentioned in professional publications and judged as mere eccentricity, flat and without expression. We cannot agree to this assessment after sampling it.
Yellowish. Intensive fragrance, very mineral, flint, nut, lemon and tones of hop. Mild yet full-bodied. Laurent assured us that the wine becomes inaccessible after bottling and is closed for a long time (just like all Ponsot wines - Laurent puts this down to the lack of use of new wood. The use of new wood enhances the quick opening of the wine, but is bad for its finesse). This wine requires ten years of patience - just like his other ones.

Bottle samples:

Morey-St.-Denis 1998
Bottled two months before. Dark fruit. Plums and good tannin. A good, velvety Village.

Clos de la Roche 1998
Very good colour. Boiled plum in the nose. Very intensive in the mouth, mature tannin, plum. Very full and dark, soil. A very good Burgundy.

[ Content ] [ Next ]

Côte d'Or Marathon 2000

layout for printing © 2000 by Vogel & Fitzpatrick GbR Black Ink