Haute couture vigneron Laurent Ponsot

Haute couture vigneron Laurent Ponsot

For decades, fourth generation winemaker Laurent Ponsot managed the Ponsot family domain in Morey-St-Denis. Under his leadership, Domaine Ponsot became one of the leading domains in Burgundy. The Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche (Cuvée Vieilles Vignes) and the Clos St. Denis (Cuvée Très Vieilles Vignes) are particularly popular among enthusiasts and collectors. Laurent Ponsot acquired even more attention after his efforts to expose wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan. (We highly recommend the Netflix documentary Sour Grapes that was released in 2016 and tells the story of this fascinating case of fine-wine fraud.) In the meantime, Laurent Ponsot has been working on some exciting new projects. And with great success! 

Read all about Laurent Ponsot and his wines in our blog below...

From Bourgogne AOC to Grand Cru

Laurent left the family business in 2017 to start a new wine adventure with his son Clément. Ponsot's two other children, Claire and Nicolas Ponsot, are also shareholders in this new family business. The new business is simply called "Laurent Ponsot" and is based in Gilly-Lès-Citeaux. The company is both a domaine that produces cuvées from its own plots and a luxury négociant that makes wines from grapes that are selected by Laurent himself. We are very proud that Best of Wines is one of the exclusive importers of the Laurent Ponsot wines.

At his departure from Domaine Ponsot, Laurent has taken a number of special vineyard plots with him. Also, he buys fruit from trusted and befriended vignerons. No less than 26 different Burgundy appellations are released under the Laurent Ponsot label: from Bourgogne rouge to the level of Grand Cru. His sales list includes the red Grands Crus Bonnes Mares, Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin, Chambertin Blos de Bèze, Clos St.-Denis and Clos de Vougeot. The list is completed by the white Grands Crus Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne. At Premier Cru level we find Beaune Premier Cru, Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers, Gevrey-Chambertin En Ergot and Meursaults Premiers Crus Genevrières, Charmes, Perrières and Blagny. After that, there are village wines from Saint-Romain, Meursault, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin. It is striking that Ponsot does not only focus on the so called big names. The label also releases excellent - according to us - Bourgogne blanc and Bourgogne rouge. These are wines that show beautiful concentration and purity, yet come with a modest price tag. Ponsot himself said about this in an interview with The New York Times: “I want to produce wines that people can open and enjoy.” A praiseworthy endeavor, for which especially Burgundy enthusiasts with a modest budget can be grateful for.

Terroir is key

For Ponsot, winemaking remains a matter of terroir expression. According to Laurent, every detail within the process is important, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. He speaks of "haute couture wines", where every detail is paid attention to with as little as possible intervention in the natural process. The grapes are grown as naturally as possible, without the use of chemicals. In the winemaking process, Ponsot avoids the addition of sulfites. Instead, he uses a neutral gas during barrel élevage. You won’t find any new oak at Ponsot. Ponsot: ”As you know, I am resistant to the use of new oak barrels whose addition of an "oak" taste is for me like the addition of natural extracts of fruits or flowers in the wines: it comes neither from the terroir, or from original grapes. I consider that the barrel is only a way to oxygenate the wine by respecting its aging cycle." He has therefore been experimenting with alternatives to oak barrels for years now.

Love of nature

Ponsot's approach shows his great respect and love for nature. It is therefore characteristic that he has given names of plants and trees to all his cuvées. The Montrachet is affectionately called "Cuvée des Orchidées" and the Bourgogne rouge was given the name "Cuvée des Peupliers", respectively the cuvées of the orchid and the poplar tree. Other wines are odes to the oak, willow or violet.

A modern look and feel

The Laurent Ponsot wines have an atypical and modern look and feel, especially for Burgundy. The label immediately catches the eye with its futuristic appearance in metallic silver and green. Laurent does not use a natural cork but a synthetic cork, which allows exactly the right amount of oxygen for the wine to mature as optimally as possible. The development process of this new bottle closure, in which Laurent himself was closely involved, took no less than 20 years. In order to guarantee provenance, the bottles are equipped with microchips according to the latest modern techniques. The temperature of the wine can be shown for up to 15 years by means of built-in sensors in the box. The buyer can be 100% sure that the wine has been transported and stored at the correct temperature.

Laurent Ponsot wines at Best of Wines

Naturally, the Best of Wines team has tasted the wines and is particularly pleased with the high quality and great value for money. We tasted the entire range of Ponsot from the 2017 and 2018 vintages side by side. It was striking that 2017 is already perfect to drink now and that 2018 may be even better in the long run. At this moment, we are selling Laurent Ponsot's 2017 vintage. We expect to receive the promising 2018 vintage soon at our warehouse. We will of course continue to inform you about this via our newsletter and social media. Click here to take a look at the Laurent Ponsot wines in our portfolio.

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