Smack Against Clos de la Roche: 2010 Ponsot Morey St. Denis 1er Cuvée des Alouettes

Posted by Ian McFadden

Looking Down on Clos de la Roche
2010 Ponsot Morey St. Denis
1er Cru Cuvée des Alouettes
Lowest Price in the Nation

"...potentially - and indeed very often in practice - one of the very best not only in Morey but among the whole of the Côte."
-Clive Coates

Ponsot produces some of the most individual Burgundies you'll ever taste, and as Clive Coates notes above, some of the best.

The style is unmistakable: Deep, textured, so powerfully dark-fruited and yet, incredibly vivid and elegant. There is a signature at Ponsot that sets them apart from everything in the Cote d'Or.

Yet the pricing too, has begun to separate Ponsot from a lot of other estates, even in Burgundy. Currently, Ponsot's masterful Clos de la Roche commands as much as $700 a bottle.

But there is relief, and for the curious, geeky scholar of Burgundy, there's actually a lot of intrigue.

Today we take just a few steps away from Clos de la Roche, to the 1er Cru Monts Luisants. There we find Ponsot's Morey St. Denis "Alouettes" - an insider's Burgundy if ever there was one.

Compared to Clos de la Roche, the elevation in Monts Luisants is a little higher, its soil is stonier. This means that the wine, the Alouettes, has some Clos de la Roche's muscle, but it manifests itself in a way that's more like a distance runner, less a body builder. It's lean, fit and energetic. The complex dark fruits, game, and crushed flowers are countered by a polished backbone of crushed stone.

Ponsot's been making this wine for many years, yet the last maybe 5 years have seen the wine grow into something very serious - as the reviews... and the scores indicate.

Laurent Ponsot

If the 2005s marked a watershed for Ponsot, 2010 may be some kind of second coming. The 2010s are bonkers good - and for the Alouettes the natural energy of the vintage dovetails perfectly with purity and lift of the wine.

As with 2008, the essence of the 2010s is freshness, purity, transparency. Stephen Tanzer writes, "The 2010s are among the most exciting red Burgundies of my professional lifetime." That sums it up very nicely.

The only ugly side of 2010 is that quantities are down 40 percent or more. With only 1ha in Alouettes, there's simply not much of this wine to go around and these bottles won't last for long. Its pedigree is just too impressive, the vintage too brilliant.

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

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

Strong reduction again precludes a satisfactory examination of the aromas. By contrast to the funky nose there is excellent verve and freshness to the concentrated, detailed and quite impressively pure and transparent flavors that terminate in a mouth coating and persistent finish. Interestingly the tannins here are almost as fine-grained as those of the Chambolle "Charmes."