2013 Domaine Ponsot Corton Grand Cru Cuvee Bourdon du Bourbon (OWC)
Corton appears deep purple, dark red velvet in density magenta. Ample, its bouquet is expressed on fruity accents (blueberry, redcurrant, kirsch) or flowery (violet), evolving towards the undergrowth, the animal, leather, fur, pepper, licorice. On the palate, it is powerful and full-bodied, structured, readily demonstrative: chewiness and body.
Domaine Ponsot is a family-owned wine producer in Burgundy. It is known for its red and white wines made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but is also well-known for the Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru Clos des Monts Luisants, the only 100-percent Aligoté premier cru wine in Burgundy.
The domaine was founded in 1872 by the Ponsot family in Morey-Saint-Denis. Most of the domaine's holdings are in grand cru and premier cru vineyards, and Ponsot makes wines from such famous vineyards as Clos de la Roche, Clos de Vougeot and Corton.
Unlike most Burgundy houses, Domaine Ponsot does not make regional wines under the Bourgogne title. It also manages its vineyards and wineries differently to other producers in Burgundy. There are no sorting tables – bunch management is done in the vineyard. The wines go through uncontrolled ferments, and are not filtered or fined.
The domaine gained notoriety when it was embroiled in the widespread wine fraud of counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan. In 2008, owner Laurent Ponsot was sent an auction list that included some old vintages of Ponsot wines. Some of these were wines that had never been produced, and suspecting counterfeit, asked that these wines were withdrawn from the auction. Since then, Ponsot has looked into various counterfeiting measures, and in 2009, the bottles were fingerprinted with unique bubble codes that were impossible to reproduce.
Although classified as neither biodynamic nor organic, he uses no insecticide or pesticide on his vines that are an average of 50 years old. To ensure quality, the label is unique for having a white spot that turns grey if the bottle has been subjected to extreme temperatures.
Laurent Ponsot studies the moon and the stars (he is not an astronomer), and their effect on the rhythm of life in the vineyards. A holistic approach that sees him lean heavily towards low intervention winemaking techniques to respect this natural harmony. The faintest touch of sulfur is afforded to the grapes upon picking if absolutely necessary, and there is no sorting table in his winery. Once pressed, the liquid is essentially allowed to ferment whenever it wishes for as long as it wishes. Once the wines have achieved the requisite state of their own accord, they may or may not be racked in the following spring or summer depending on the cycle of the moon.
About Domain Ponsot
Founded by a soldier returning home from the Franco-Prussian War in 1872, radical thinking and revolutionary ideas seem to be something of a family trait. The current eccentric Ponsot at the helm of this fabulous estate is Laurent, who is making wildly unique yet utterly Burgundian wines from some of the finest Grands Crus in the entire region.
Vineyard Brands has history spanning more than 40 years of buying wines from Domaine Ponsot - first from Hippolyte Ponsot, later from his son Jean-Marie, and most recently from Laurent and Rose-Marie. Domaine Ponsot’s history begins in 1872 when William Ponsot purchased a wine estate in Morey-Saint-Denis and set up his home there. His major parcels of land at that time were the Clos des Monts-Luisants and Clos de la Roche. His nephew and godson, Hippolyte Ponsot, took over the domaine in 1920, and in 1932 started bottling his entire harvest at the domaine, a rarity for the time. Eventually estate was passed down to Hippolyte’s son Jean-Marie, and later to Jean-Marie’s children, Laurent and Rose-Marie. Today, Rose-Marie Ponsot is the sole director of the company, seconded by Alexandre Abel. Unfettered by the latest fashions, Domaine Ponsot has always sought to express the richness of Burgundy terroir through natural cultivation practices. Human intervention is limited and only applied to the help that the vine needs. The family’s long tradition of letting nature take the lead work that today the vineyards are in exceptional condition.
"Amazing colour! Blackish crimson. Deep flavoured and rich. Really intense! Sweet start and ripe tannins – almost opulent though still bone dry on the end. Worth waiting patiently while this takes on more flesh. For the moment it’s austere on the finish."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Corton Grand Cru Cuvée de Bourdon has the most reticent nose at the moment, sultry and introspective. Likewise, the palate is obstinate and broody, quite “rigid” in the mouth with a dense, tightly wound, chalky finish. This is just lacking a little charm at the moment, but hopefully it will flesh out by the time of bottling. (NM) (12/2014)