Ponsot   Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

1996 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

By Ponsot

1996 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru by Ponsot, Burgundy

The epoch of the 1996 harvest in Burgundy remains etched in my memory as a defining moment for the region's viticultural prowess. The 1996 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot stands as an exemplary testament to the vintage's supremacy, a paragon that underscores the sublime nature that occurs when meticulous vineyard management collides with fortuitous climatic conditions.


A Vintage That Speaks: The Voice of 1996

The 1996 season in Burgundy challenged vintners with its initial capriciousness—spring was unusually cool and tardy. Yet as if by fortune's grace, the summer unfolded with warmth and dryness, ushering a spell of optimal ripening that was both enduring and measured. It is within this complex interplay of meteorological whimsy that the character of the 1996 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru was moulded—yielding a wine with an arresting equilibrium between robust tannins and a vigorous acid backbone, supported by the delicate nuances only age can bestow.


A Tasting Odyssey Beyond the Common Realm

In tasting, one is immediately greeted by the wine's evolved bouquet—an aromatic kaleidoscope weaving together tertiary notes of undergrowth, leather and truffle, harmoniously integrated with a more youthful essence of cherries and sous-bois. On the palate, the experience is no less monumental; it traverses from a poised entry to an expansively rich mid-palate texture, ultimately culminating into a finish that tantalises with an almost paradoxical freshness.

Decades later, this Grand Cru still commands respect and admiration, showcasing fruit precision that's impeccably entwined with mature complexities—a rare delight that illuminates the illustrious pedigree of its terrroir and heritage.


Nurturing Fine Wine Legacy: A Consideration for Connoisseurs

Investors seeking to enrich their portfolio with a Burgundian legend should look no further. The 1996 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot represents an intelligent acquisition: beyond its prodigious capacity to enthral even the most discerning palates, it bears the hallmark traits of ageing majestically. As I've monitored countless iterations across varying years, this vintage emerges as one of profound allure—one that continues to ascend in both complexity and investable worthiness amidst its peers.

In reckoning with its persistent evolution and none waning vivacity upon each encounter, I reaffirm my conviction that this is not merely a bottle but an enduring touchstone for enthusiasts and investors alike. In essence, it is a consummate marriage of history, artistry, and nature—a vino-cultural artefact deserving of a sanctified place within cellars inclined towards wines of monumental stature.

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The 1996 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes, originally rated a whopping 92-95, was a disheartening wine to re-visit after bottling. It exhibits a somewhat dark color and has a muted nose that only revealed some strawberry scents after considerable coaxing. This is an oily-textured, medium-bodied, well-balanced, and persistent wine, yet its flavors are dominated by earth, gravel, and underbrush. I have no idea what happened to the "layers of blackberries, cherries, cassis, mocha, and fresh herbs" I had tasted 12 months before. Importer: Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL; tel (205) 980-8802.

Pierre Rovani - The Wine Advocate, 29 October 1999

Vintage performance