08 Chezeaux Griotte: Beyond the Label (Ponsot)

Posted by Ian McFadden

Beyond the Label
2008 Chezeaux (Ponsot)
One Small Parcel Only!

We've said it before, but it's worth repeating: this bottle is one of Burgundy's (big) little secrets.

It's also, every year, one of our most popular offers (as well as a past "Wine of the Year" winner.)

Yet it's not what it appears to be. It's better.

While the label declares "Domaine des Chézeaux" rather calmly, the truth is that this is none other than Ponsot's 2008 Griotte-Chambertin.

This is the very same wine that Ponsot puts in his own bottle, with his own label... but the fact this comes to market with a different label will save you around $50-$60. In other words, the value here is impressive.

This is the only price in the U.S.

The question is why does this Ponsot bottle have a Chezeaux label? This bottling is a product of the French practice of "métayage" - an arrangement where a wine is made in exchange for a percentage of the final product. Ponsot makes the wine from Chezeaux's land, and in return he gets two-thirds of the production, the same wine, which he bottles under his own label.

Ponsot's Griotte is one of our favorite bottlings in his stable. While the Clos de la Roche is muscular and deep, the Griotte is lighter, brighter. It has a simply gorgeous cherry perfume and a freshness that makes the wine feel almost bouncy even while it remains satiny and very, very elegant. Texturally, Ponsot's Griotte is ultra-fine, equal parts fruit and mineral.

Griotte-Chambertin is one of the most elusive Grand Crus in Burgundy; it's the smallest Grand Cru in Gevrey at only 3 hectares in size. Only a handful of producers even make wine in Griotte, but the roster is a testament to the quality of the terroir, the fascination it holds: Ponsot, Drouhin, Dugat, Fourrier, Roty, Jadot and Leclerc.

2008 is a vintage that will be looked back on fondly by Burgundy lovers for two reasons: first the wines are classic, detailed and promise to evolve beautifully in the cellar for many, many years. The second reason is that they are amazing values. The 2009 vintage introduced a new pricing structure, and 2010, where yields were down somewhere around 30-40 percent and the wines are thought to be one of the great classic vintages of our time, will again push prices northward to set new records and establish new pain thresholds.

In short, Grand Cru from a top producer for $155 (and less on the 3-pack) is a rarity. "Get it while you can" feels unpardonably sales-y, but from our vantage point, seems accurate as well.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2008 Chezeaux Griotte-Chambertin