x
  • Country ranking ?

    374
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

The Story

Clos de la Roche, the Ponsot domaine’s largest holding, is one of the four fine tete du cuvée vineyards in the little town of Morey-St Denis. It produces one of the great wines of Burgundy - deeply colored, spicy, rich and often quite firm. This vineyard, running north from Morey-St Denis and sharing its border with Latriciéres-Chambertin at the southern end of the great Chambertin vineyards, is justifiably noted for wines that age well.

 

Of all the villages of the Côte de Nuits, Morey-Saint-Denis is one of the most fruitful in terms of the number of its Grands Crus. The Clos de Tart, which remains a solely-held entity, was founded by the Cistercians of Tart in 1141. Since that date, it has been owned by only three families. The Clos Saint-Denis came on the scene in the 11th century, thanks to the fortress of Vergy. The Clos de la Roche and Clos des Lambrays are both semi-monopoles and both have long histories which have involved some adjustment of boundaries between Climats. The Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint-Denis were awarded their Grand Cru appellations on 8 December 1936, Clos de Tart on 4 January 1939, and Clos des Lambrays 27 April 1981.
Facing east or slightly south of east at around 250 metres above sea-level, these Climats may be seen as a southerly extension of the Grands Crus of Gevrey-Chambertin. First comes the Clos de la Roche, then Clos Saint-Denis followed by Clos des Lambrays, and finally Clos de Tart leading to Bonnes-Mares.

Limestone dominates in the Clos de la Roche where the soil is barely 30 cm deep with few pebbles but with large boulders which give the climat its name. In the Clos de Tart, scree-derived soils 40-120 cm thick cover the underlying limestone. The Upper part of the Clos des Lambrays is marly with claylimestone soil further down. The Clos Saint-Denis at the foot of the slope has pebble-free brown limestone soils which contain phosphorus (like Chambertin) and clay (like Musigny). 

Diversity is to be expected as each Grand Cru has its own personality. To the eye, this wine is plain ruby, sometimes a bit darker. Veiled in strawberry and violet, the Clos de Tart offers both robustness and charm. Quite tannic when young, it softens with age while gaining in complexity. The Clos des Lambrays is a true aristocrat, fully rounded in youth and with added depth and gravity as the years go by. The Clos Saint-Denis impresses by its finely–tuned nuances – this wine is the Mozart of the Côte de Nuits. The Clos de la Roche is firmer, deeper and more serious, closely akin to Chambertin. Aromas of humus and truffle are often precursors to notes of small red or black fruits. A small part of the BONNES-MARES appellation lies in this commune, but the greater part is in Chambolle-Musigny. (See Fact-sheet No. 5).

Intense and full-bodied when fully mature, these wines have a densely tannic texture and an aromatic richness which makes them a fitting - and equal - partner for feathered game. They are perfect, too, with a rib steak and, for lovers of Asian cuisine, adapt well to the aromatic intensity of glazed poultry. Their supple but virile tannins go well with veal (braised or in sauce) and with roast or braised lamb. One must also not forget their invaluable affinity for strong-flavoured soft-centred cheeses.

Serving temperatures : 12 to 13 °C for young wines, 15 to 16 °C for older wines.

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Vintage 1990

Laurent Ponsot has been described by some wine critics as a maverick due to his tendency to harvest as late as possible in order to obtain the maximum ripeness of fruit. Since 1999, Laurent has been on a mission to further augment the quality of his wines, and those that have tasted each vintage since then will confirm the noticeable quantum leap in the quality, complexity, and balance in his wines.

Domaine Ponsot, situated at the top of the hill overlooking the village of Morey Saint Denis, has the largest parcel of Clos de la Roche grand cru where most of his vines are fifty plus years old. He also produces miniscule quantities of the outstanding Clos Saint Denis from vines of more than 100 years old.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The 1990 Ponsot Clos de la Roche VV was so good that it made me come up with a new noun, a WILF. As in a Wine I’d Like to F lol…which is all the more appropriate by the fact that one of the world’s greatest collectors shares the same name. How come I never thought up that one before? The Posnot was definitely a WILF, ‘serious’ as one guest put it. What a nose…it was ripe with big smokehouse and deep ocean intermingled with loads of black and purple. Mint, rich iron and fruit complemented the ‘chocolate/cherry deal,’ as M put it. There was greater stink and black fruit to this ‘denser’ wine. This was a Ferrari tire fresh off the pavement, thick as a brick and then some (97).

  • 97p

Information

Origin

Beaune, Burgundy

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 1990  ( Domaine Ponsot )

The 1990 Ponsot Clos de la Roche VV was so good that it made me come up with a new noun, a WILF. As in a Wine I’d Like to F lol…which is all the more appropriate by the fact that one of the world’s greatest collectors shares the same name. How come I never thought up that one before? The Posnot was definitely a WILF, ‘serious’ as one guest put it. What a nose…it was ripe with big smokehouse and deep ocean intermingled with loads of black and purple. Mint, rich iron and fruit complemented the ‘chocolate/cherry deal,’ as M put it. There was greater stink and black fruit to this ‘denser’ wine. This was a Ferrari tire fresh off the pavement, thick as a brick and then some (97).

11m 10d ago

94p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 1990  ( Domaine Ponsot )

"It was my second bottle of 1990 Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes this month, and the first one was corked. The second one was weird. Cat box was the first thing that came to mind, followed by milky, minty and black fruit. The palate was rich, heavy, big and broad, impressively so, but there was this ‘farm/barnyard’ quality (94?)."

3y 8m ago

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 1990  ( Domaine Ponsot )

"I brought a 1990 Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes. Why would I bring the 1990 Ponsot? Well, it happened to be the best bottle of Burgundy hanging out in the store, and I had just stepped off a 16-hour flight; it was an easy decision. Unfortunately, it was slightly corked. If you could get past its corked qualities, there was a rich, beefy and saucy wine that was one of the most concentrated of the night. There were menthol and meat flavors, but this was definitely corked to the point where it was tough to continue. Someone mentioned ‘Brigitte Bardot.’ If I had to guestimate, I would put this wine in the (96A) category. It would definitely be outstanding were it not corked."

3y 9m ago

98p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 1990  ( Domaine Ponsot )

"The 1990 Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes had an anaconda of a nose, mega and deep, beefy…more like proscuito actually, liqueur-like yet still wine-like at the same time. It was massively concentrated yet somehow light on its feet and had this incredible rock-like quality, one that felt like it had a diamond, a really big diamond in the middle of it. Someone called it ‘indestructible’ "

4y 8m ago

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