Ponsot   Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

2012 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

By Ponsot

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Cropped at 10 hectoliters per hectare, the 2012 Clos-Saint-Denis Tres Vieilles Vignes, from vines planted in 1905, has a very intense, broody bouquet with intense blackberry and mineral scents that will need a few years to really unfold. The palate is medium-bodied, but like the nose; broody, powerful and intellectual with robust, saturated tannins and a gentle build to a convincing, persistency finish with a long mineral tail. Superb. Laurent Ponsot, when he is not the Lone Ranger fighting alleged fraud, is busy making wine in his own individual way from his winery perched on the higher reaches overlooking Morey village. As ever, he is refreshingly candid in his views, passionate about the tenets he applies to winemaking, but always counterbalanced with tongue-in-cheek humor. I concentrated on the premier and grand cru 2012s since he was just about to bottle his village crus after one year and they were not ready. He told me that he commenced picking on 3 October, several days later than most winemakers, a date that he assured me he knew as far back as June due to natural indicators, whatever they may be. Yields averaged around 19 hectoliters per hectare, lower for the grand crus, while his famous Aligote from Monts Luisants was wiped out by oidium not from the vines, but from the nearby forest that pricked the flavor of the wine. (I did mischievously quip that I knew of someone in the United States who might be able to rustle some up if so desired – I could not help myself). What I like about Laurent’s wines is that they are edgy, uncompromising, occasionally “Marmite” wines that perhaps like the man himself, goes out to divide opinion and create debate. His strict use of old barrels combined with a dizzying array of grand crus combine to create distinct wines that tend to wear their heart of their sleeves. Importer: Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL; tel. (205) 980-8802, Atherton Wine Imports (CA) and through Geodhuis & Co in the UK.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 29 December 2013

Vintage performance