It's complicated! Laurent Ponsot leaving the family domaine, but quoted as saying that it won't be sold… https://t.co/0sXqNRIRbS
— 🅱️ill nanson (@billnanson) March 14, 2017
Laurent Ponsot, pictured right, when tasting 2015s in Morey St.Denis, last November.
Laurent Ponsot has made a name for himself, not just by being the greatest exponent of the ‘late-harvest’ Burgundy, but also by being a fighter of fraud, or rather counterfeit wine, too. But it seems that events may have taken him by surprise at Domaine Ponsot.
I got wind of it earlier this week and left some messages/questions for Laurent – he hasn’t yet responded, though if he does I’ll edit this note – but it seems that it is the end for Domaine Ponsot as we know it, if not for many of Laurent’s wines.
Without direct info from the man himself, I won’t disrespect Bruce by simply re-hashing his words – linked above – but in the last couple of years it was clear to me that Laurent was positioning himself to retire – and sooner rather than later, so 60 could have been the number – and his son Clément could ‘do what he wants with the domaine afterwards – the decisions will be his.’ Yet it seems that things can change very quickly in Burgundy. As far as I know there are no other winemakers in the family, i.e. the families of Laurent’s three sisters, so a sale seems the only option. And will the sisters have any legal right to challenge Laurent taking away with him the metayage contracts of Chambertin, Clos St.Denis, Griotte-Chambertin and Chambolle-Charmes? – Bruce indicates that Laurent will do so – despite that they have been integral to the domaine since 1982…
Regardless, it looks like a good pay-day for one, and for all, yet it will be such a shame. Domaine Ponsot – if it keeps that name, and how could it? (- with 20% ownership remaining with the family? ;-)) – will never have the same cachet without a charismatic Ponsot at the helm. Neither Laurent nor his father Jean-Marie could be the easiest of people, but they certainly both had charisma!
Still, I’m looking forward to tasting his 2016s – the lines between the domaine and négoce wines were always rather blurred here…