On the Break of Dawn
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.
Morey-St.-Denis 1er Cru 1999
Clos de la Roche Vielles Vignes 1999
Morey-St.-Denis Clos de Moints Luisants 1999 (blanc)
Clos de la Roche 1998