This is, without any doubt, Domaine Ponsot’s top wine and one of the absolute elite wines of the Côte de Nuits. The terroir itself largely explains why. Domaine Ponsot is famously the largest landowner in Clos de la Roche, perfectly situated (almost entirely within the historic Clos itself) and with some of the oldest vines (averaging approximately 60 years of age). Clos de la Roche was expanded in the 1950s to include a range of neighbouring sites (Les Fremières, Les Genevrières, Les Mochamps, Monts Luisants, etc.) which surround the original vineyard or Clos. The original terroir makes strikingly different wines to the surrounding sites now included in the AOC. Ponsot own almost three hectares of the original 4.5-hectare Clos (widely considered to be the finest part of the Clos de la Roche AOC). The rest of Ponsot’s holdings are within the Monts Luisants lieu-dit (always bottled and sold as Clos de la Roche—it has the same soil but is higher on the slope).
Terroir aside, this wine is clearly the reference for the AOC. To us, it is not only Ponsot’s grandest wine, but also one of the greatest red wines in Burgundy. The price needs to be viewed in this context. Exactly how much of the quality to be found under this label is related to terroir and how much to the vine age, plant material and quality of the farming is impossible to know—it is often hard, in Burgundy, to separate the quality of the grower from the quality of the terroir. When we first tasted the 2016 at the Domaine, I wrote in my notebook, “One of the finest young Burgundies I have ever tasted.” It was that good. So, when I tell you that the 2017 might be every bit as good, well, I can’t say much more. It’s a stunning red Burgundy but don’t take my word for it, ask William Kelley! “Brilliant” indeed! - Bibendum, Importers
“The 2017 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is also showing very well from bottle, unfurling in the glass with a deep bouquet of sweet red berries, plums and cassis, complemented by sweet soil tones and lifted top notes of orange rind and peonies. Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, it's deep and concentrated, its velvety tannins and succulent acids cloaked in an ample core of fruit. This is a brilliant wine from Domaine Ponsot.” 96 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate