Tasted in Gilly les Citeaux with Laurent Ponsot, 23 April 2019.
Laurent Ponsot SAS
10 Rue Des Cerisiers
ZA Petite Champagne
21640 Gilly Les Citeaux
Tel: +33 3 80 41 03 27
“I’m not anyway a vigneron – I am haute couture négociant – I think we have to put that ‘work’ back in it’s proper place – it’s an important word and haute couture means every detail associated with that. As soon as you have a good raw material it’s important to have attentaion to all the details.”
Laurent on 2017:
“I’m very happy with all the 2017s that I have – if I’m not happy I won’t sell it! Again, I think the perverse effect of the global warming is good for Burgundy – it’s hard to make bad wines – of-course each vintage has more or less fruit, but 1984 was the last bad vintage; there have been less good ones and we need new names for the good ones I think. I don’t think we do much better work – it’s just the climate! But I’m so happy that the ‘farmers’ here are paying attention and doing a great job – maybe half are good and a couple of hundred can be at the very top level – I can buy from many producers and make my own blend if I choose.
“I am very confident in the wines – there’s not one of them that I wouldn’t open to please my friends. Some people are fixated on the yields of 2017, but in 1990, 1999 and 2009 we had great yields but great wines too – so the link between volume and quality is not a given. But I still wonder every day if the market will absorb them all! Perhaps my biggest challenge is that I want to be as well known for my whites as my reds. I don’t know if I have a future, but I try hard – and so does my team – it’s a great team!”
I simply great range of wines – in both colours – at this address for 2017. The most difficult performance came was the new Beaune – but only just encased in its bottles – it deserves a second chance!
The wines have, more or less, had just one week in bottle – and in 2017, 80,000 bottles is the production figure versus 47,000 last year! “I have 26 cuvées now – not the 6 that I started with – and I still have energy even if I don’t have money!”
2017 Bourgogne Blanc Cuvée du Perce Neige
‘Regional – but burgundy is big! Note I never declassify to make a label better – maybe if the weather is not generous like I did in 1994 – and I will have my distillery if I don’t like it.’
An appealing density but nothing heavy – an inviting start. Hmm, drive, saline, concentration – balanced weight of flavour. Delicious.
Many suppliers contribute to this – 5-6 in 2017… no new oak, no fining or filtration
More width, more freshness, faint ginger. More depth, more insistence of flavour – super texture – depth but delicious complexity – driving whilst roundly, texturally, lovely. Bravo!
More floral and beautifully fresh – yes! More density but open and complex and energetic – ooh – this is even better! Bravo, again with this salinity that is so moreish!
2017 Meursault-Charmes Cuvée de la Centaurée
Lots of separate purchases in the vineyard, assembled.
A nose of more width, less density – fine but smaller today. Vibrant, weight in the middle – the same saline, mineral if you like, long, layered delicious finishing flavour. More composed than the Blagny – just different – today I take the Blagny for the extra fireworks…
A little more aromatic impact here – yellow citrus, cushioned but pure. Ooh – this is rippling, mouth-watering salivating, juiciness. Wide, great texture, chalky, open A great panorama of flavour. Bravo!
2017 Bâtard-Montrachet Cuvée des Lilas
Here is a fresh nose but also a much more compact nose – the first bottle he’s opened since bottling! Almost some citrus (mandarin?) zest in here. Hmm – this is different rather than a step up from the CC – widerer, more cushioned chalkiness – saline and exceptionally long – but never with the bravado of the CC today. Excellent wine, with the same drive and energy as the Charlemagne!
2017 Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée des Peupliers
‘I don’t want too many blending parts for this, but more of each would be great!’
Ooh – that’s a sizzlingly good, vibrant dark-red fruit, almost a little mineral though almost a suggestion of reduction below too. Ooh – that’s so big and energetic – dark red fruit – I really can’t place the area but it’s delicious, again a suggestion of reduction, fireworks – but I’m guessing a little!
Next up is a Gevrey and Laurent tells me “I bought quite a bit of Gevrey this year – and Chambolle villages – plus En Ergot Gevrey, Sentiers from Chambolle and then there’s the Bonnes-Mares – this is why I told you I am poor! There’s a type of tannin in Gevrey – of all levels – and you can see it here, you would never say Chambolle or Vosne…”
2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée l’Aulne
Just a little less colour. Depth and clarity of aroma – but rather tight. Width on the palate – beautiful definition/clarity – a little touch of tannin – less forward fruit than the Bourgogne but a certain class here – melting and mineral in the finish.
2017 Chambolle-Musigny Cuvée de la Violette
Here is a very Chambolle nose – slightly acidulated sweet fruit that reminds very much of the Drouhin 1er cru wine, in this case almost with a touch of almond. A wine that’s all sweetness and light – concentrated but airy, layered and very finely sweetened fruit. Fine finishing, faintly but properly structured. Gorgeous.
2017 Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée du Noyer
‘A new wine, a wine that I like to drink myself – I often order Beaune 1ers in restaurants so I though it was time to make a start. 8 different 1ers from 5 providers. For about €45 ex cellars – half the price of the previous Chambolle!’
Actually this is very Beaune with its noble herb style of aroma behind the fruit, growing with a floral element too – not bad as bottled only last week. Mouth-filling, some herb, plenty of acidity. More structural than the previous wines – more patience needed than the other, but excellent.
A nose that resembles the village Chambolle with a little more amplitude. Ooh – more clarity, more depth, great wine here – so complex, so comforting but light on its feet vibrating into the finish – bravo!
2017 Clos de Vougeot Cuvée du Cèdre
5 different providers, some in barrel.
Oh – a big, open, slightly structured, fresh – beautiful nose – clarity and florals too. Lots of vibrant fresh flavour here – not the most concentrated – how could it be so with this energy – but really with an ingraining flavour, faintly herbed. Simply excellent wine!
2017 Echézeaux Cuvée de l’Erable
Not a massive nose, faintly spiced but growing. Full, energetic, fresh – bigger than the CV, a little more tannin – so much finishing complexity. Supple and wide – almost comforting in the finish. Super finishing persistence too. Another simply excellent wine.
Wide, fresh, growing depth of aroma too – rather complete! More density – plenty of width, a concentrated dark red cherry fruit – a faint touch of dry tannin – no grain. Mineral in the middle – ooh this is very successful in 2017. A great Griotte! Bravo