Ponsot   Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

1995 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

By Ponsot

1995 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot, Burgundy, France

Embarking upon a discourse of the 1995 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot elicits a reverent pause. This hallowed vintage radiates a luminosity that only the grand terroirs of Burgundy can inspire. My extensive journeys through the world of viniculture have seldom led me to a wine that articulates the genius loci as profoundly as this one.


A Vintage Defined by Time and Terroir

The 1995 growing season in Burgundy bestowed a grace on its offspring that was born from challenge. The year opened with trepidation as frost threatened but ultimately led to a summer that struck a delicate equipoise between heat and precipitation. The outcome: a harvest that exuded concentration and potential longevity, pivotal qualities for discerning fine wine investors.

Ponsot, renowned for finesse and stewardship of age-worthy wines, managed to capture in this grand cru an equipoise seldom achieved—profound intensity coupled with haunting grace. Swirling with notes of dark cherries, forest floor, and an enigmatic hint of rose petals, this Clos de la Roche is a testament to the vignerons' deft craftsmanship.


The Investment Merits of Patience

With decades vested in monitoring and assessing fine wines, I propose that now is a poignant moment for enthusiasts to revisit the 1995 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru. For investment purposes, one may appraise not simply the liquid treasure it has become but also its stature amongst peers. Exhibiting a poised complexity, it has reached a plateau where its regal maturity can captivate the most demanding palates.

The tannins have softened into what I would liken to a silk tapestry—an exquisite backdrop to the symphony of mature fruit and ethereal aromatics dancing across the palate. The closure—a lingering finale that speaks volumes of its storied origin.

In conclusion, with an appreciative nod to the audacity of nature and man's respectful touch upon it, the 1995 vintage emerges as a singular silhouette against the tapestry of time. It is one such spectacle in oenology where wine transcends mere beverage to become narrative—a tale worth investing both capital and emotion in.

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In my article on Ponsot's 1995s out of barrel, I heaped considerable praise on the Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes, describing it as "prodigious", and going so far as to say that "I would not be surprised if it deserved a perfect rating!" At my recent tasting I found it to be light-to-medium ruby-colored with an amber edge. Its slightly alcoholic nose is reminiscent of cherry-flavored Bubbleyum bubblegum mixed with white pepper and grapefruit. On the palate, this wine is a pale shadow of its former self. Amidst an earthy, stony, red pit fruit-flavored, and medium-bodied core, there remains a ghost-like trace of the richness and ripeness I originally had seen in this wine. After it had been opened for 48 hours I re-visited it. To its credit, this Clos de la Roche had not deteriorated, yet it had not gotten any better either. I will not be drinking my remaining bottles in the near term as I want to see if Laurent Ponsot's assertion that these wines will regain their fruit in time is correct. However, I cannot recommend the same course of action to readers as I see no reason to believe that cellaring will help this wine. Importer: Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL; tel (205) 980-8802.

Pierre Rovani - The Wine Advocate, 29 October 1999

Vintage performance