Ponsot   Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

2012 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

By Ponsot

2012 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot, Burgundy

In the annals of Burgundy's grandest vintages, the 2012 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot commands a unique reverence. In the labyrinth of climate and soil that defines this estimable region, few crus can articulate the essence of their terroir with such eloquent precision.


Distinguished Vintage Traits

The year 2012 unveiled its narrative amidst the challenges of nature, where careful vineyard management became the dividing line between the good and the exceptional. The season's hardships have imbued this cuvée with a complex character that tiptoes on the palate with an artful balance of resilience and grace.

One encounters in this 2012 vintage an intimate congress of Old World precision and ripe fruit extravagance—the signature calling card of Ponsot; it heralds from low-yielding, time-honored vines rooted deeply in stony soils, subsequently yielding a more concentrated fruit essence. Subtle flourishes emerge—a compendium of ripe dark cherries and a whisper of earthy undergrowth—while supple tannins unfurl like aged silk against an enduring finish.


Investment Reflections and Pleasures

Profit-minded connoisseurs will recognize both merit and promise in this wine; as a standard bearer for storied vintages, its investment prospects are indisputable. For those drawn to the cache of Burgundy's finest vineyards, the 2012 offering from Ponsot signifies a masterstroke from a season that filtered greatness from adversity.

To sip this nectar is to delve into a storybook where each sip unfolds another chapter—an experiential tapestry woven with autumnal spice, complemented by minerality as poignant as the limestone ridges that dapple Clos Saint-Denis. It stands as both sentinel and tribute to an unparalleled synergy between clime and craftsperson.

An anchored acquisition for any fine wine portfolio, the 2012 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru reflects not just an investment in liquid artistry but also an assurance of legacy in the pantheon of exceptional Burgundian vintages.

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Scores and tasting notes


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