Don't Miss: 08 Ponsot Clos de la Roche VV

Posted by CrushWine

Wine of the Vintage?
2008 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche VV
...Certainly on the Short List

"...holding off on purchasing the [Ponsot] 2008s in the hopes that the hyped 2009s will be even better is a strategy that will only end up disappointing... as these 2008s are stunning."
- John Gilman, View from the Cellar

The Burghound, while no less enthusiastic, is more succinct with his praise of Ponsot's 08 Clos de la Roche, paring it down to a single word: "terrific."

Whether it's Gilman, Meadows, or our own sources within Burgundy, the verdict has been unanimously clear: Laurent Ponsot made one of the best - if not the absolute best portfolio of 2008. Perhaps only Dujac can compete with Ponsot from top to bottom in 2008 (note, due to price and availability, DRC stands in its own universe).

At the head of the class, unsurprisingly, sits Ponsot's outstanding Clos de la Roche. Which is why when we were able to secure a parcel of it on pre-arrival, we went long. Today we offer the 08 Clos de la Roche at $179.99.

Let's go ahead and be honest, 2008 was a tough vintage, with the ripe and hyped 09s casting a long shadow. But frankly, Laurent Ponsot turned this mother out, and his 08s simply should not be missed by serious Burgundy fanatics who value transparency and vitality in addition to the "high scores" sought out by the "big game" hunters.

Ponsot was among the last to pick in 2008, and his severe triage rendered clean, wonderfully ripe fruit, if not much of it; the old vines in Clos de la Roche only produced 25 hectolitres per hectare this year - compare this to a typical 50+ hl/ha for top quality Burgundy. It's this combination of strict and inspired winemaking combined with pure, smackingly fresh - yet deep - fruit that makes this vintage from Ponsot so exciting. These are Burgundies with real life, clarity and energy - not just exercises in muscle or mass.

Ponsot's 08 Clos de la Roche is a nearly perfect reflection of this Grand Cru site, with a bottomless core of vibrant, big-bodied fruit sheathed in muscular but velvety, soil-inflected tannins. It gleams, as the Burghound notes, with “the sense of perfect balance" and enough muscle marbled with glistening acidity to last for decades (see Gilman's and Meadows' full tasting notes, below). Clos de la Roche is the kingpin of the Ponsot stable - and while the domaine owns a whopping 3.4 hectares here, these are wines that tend to evaporate from the market after a few years, with the remaining back vintage soldiers sitting on shelves at a pretty penny.

Since 2005, Laurent Ponsot has really hit his stride, with the blockbuster 05 leading the string of very strong successes in 06, 07 and now 08 with the very much anticipated 2009 looming. Ponsot has been on the "short list" of great Côte de Nuits producers for some time now, but it's vintages like 08 where the cream really rises to the top. A bit of an iconoclast and torchbearer in tradition-steeped Burgundy, Ponsot has also with this vintage switched to using a composite cork made by Guala that Liger-Belair, among others, are also experimenting with.

Like the 05 Clos de la Roche, today's wine is only in its infancy; it deserves room and time in the cellar to loosen some of its tight grip and fuse with the palate-saturating sap. We strongly recommend burying a few of these deep in the cellar and letting time do her job. Expect the drinking window to open widely, gloriously, in another 15-30 years.

To place your order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Robert Schagrin
Managing Partner
Crush Wine & Spirits

2008 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche VV

Special Email Price: $179.99

Burghound: Heavy reduction blocks the nose though it's possible to discern that beneath the funk lies very ripe fruit. By contrast, the vibrant and powerful big-bodied flavors are wonderfully fresh and culminate in a robust and well-muscled finish that avoids any rusticity because of the huge amounts of dry extract on the palate saturating finale. I really like the sense of perfect balance plus the combination of a textured and velvety mouth feel juxtaposed against the precision and tension of the flavors and finish. In a word, terrific (but lots of patience required).

John Gilman, View from the Cellar: The 2008 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes was the most closed wine in the cellar at the time of my visit, and the most profound as well. The bouquet is deep and very sappy in its youthful mélange of red and black cherries, blood orange, coffee, espresso, fantastically complex soil tones and a mustardy topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and bottomless at the core, with ripe tannins, superb acids and stunning length and grip on the again, nearly endless finish. A great vintage for this consistently outstanding wine.


08 Ponsot is pre-arrival
NET | No further discount