- BlendPinot Noir
- WinemakerAlexandre Abel
- Farming MethodPracticing Organic
Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Cuvee des Alouettes Premier Cru 2016
Domaine Ponsot is one of the heavy hitters when it comes to the great estates of Burgundy…just ask infamous wine forgery expert, Rudy Kurniawan, who was famously outed by Laurent Ponsot for making vintages that could not have existed. Worry not, this parcel comes direct from the wineries importer with the most pristine provenance possible. How can that be possible at the best price in the US? Don't ask, just lock this in!
Founded in 1872, the Ponsot family has been making stellar, age worthy Burgundies in each of the past four generations. Their approach is highly traditional – they never use any new oak for aging, they ferment in the classical, open-top, conical oak vats, and their processing, through to fermentation, racking, and aging is all achieved through the use of their gravity-flow facility.
As is common in Burgundy (and most great wine regions), increasing the quality of the wine begins in the vineyards. Ponsot believes in applying sustainable, organic, and even biodynamic practices that have developed over the years, whenever possible, across all their holdings – yet refusing to rigidly adopt any series of practices for the mere sake of outside certification. This philosophy, known as "la lutte raisonnée" in French (which translates as "measured control") requires intense, on-going evaluation of every vines' health and progress throughout the year and consistent adaptation to the conditions of each vintage. For this bottling, the fruit hails from the parcel of Monts Luisants, perched just above the Grand Cru of Clos de la Roche. There, you’ll find 3 separate sub-sections of soils, layered in bands that slope down into the Grand Cru. At the top, the soil is the compacted Bathonian limestone of the Comblanchien, descending down into the white oolite of the middle section, and finally the Premeaux limestone of the lowest section of the vineyard. And yet, because of the very steep slope, Comblanchien debris is found on the oolite section and oolite rubblerock on the Premeaux section and so on, carrying down into the soils of Clos de la Roche and beyond.
The fruit is carefully hand-sorted in the vineyard, so that any bacterial-induced spoilage cannot be transferred to pristine clusters, as the grapes travel in small, wicker baskets to be processed. Domaine Ponsot focuses on phenolic ripeness rather than physiological ripeness for their picks, meaning that the grapes must taste, smell and feel as they should, instead of modern reliance on accepted sugar-levels, acidic balance, and color density determinations. In 2016, yields were microscopic, but quality was quite high, yielding a wine of concentration, ripeness, and intensity that boast of either a long-cellaring ability or early-drinking hedonism and intensity.
This is a magnificent offering that squarely falls as an insider special. Burghounds know the producer very well, but the specifics of this bottling are not widely available and we had to hear the story direct ourselves. Needless to say, we were thrilled to get a few cases of this beauty, and at the price we have today…this is a wine worth collecting.
PAIRING IDEAS: This one is for a special occasion… Squab with Cherries and Foie Gras will complement that nicely.
MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: Something kinda jazzy, kinda rocking, but kinda romantic too… Van Morrison, you’re up! “Moondance” should help set the mood for the perfect evening.