Domaine Ponsot Grand Cru Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2018

This is, without any doubt, Domaine Ponsot’s top wine and one of the finest wines of the Côte de Nuits. Domaine Ponsot is famously the largest landowner in Clos de la Roche, perfectly situated almost entirely within the historic Clos itself and with some of the oldest vines (averaging approximately 60 years of age). Domaine Ponsot owns almost three hectares of the original 4.5-hectare Clos (widely considered to be the finest part of the Clos de la Roche AOC). The rest of Ponsot’s holdings are within the Monts Luisants lieu-dit (which has always been bottled and sold as Clos de la Roche as it has the same soil but is higher on the slope). When young, the wine can often be tightly wound and restrained, needing time to build and express itself. No such issues with the 2018—which, although a wine clearly built for the long term, is already expressing itself. It will also drink wonderfully well young when matched with the right food and if you’re ready for something deep and powerful.
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  • 97 points - Decanter Magazine
  • Domaine Ponsot is famously the largest landowner in Clos de la Roche
  • 95 points - Allen Meadows
  • Single Bottle
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  • 97
  • 95
  • 95


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low (Low)
    High (High)
  • Aroma
    • Earthy
    • Herbal
    • Red Fruits
  • Palate
    • Cedar
    • Red Cherry
    • Strawberry

Food Pairings

  • Fish
  • Game
  • Poultry

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Decanter

    "It's fascinating to taste the two components of this superb wine, grown only 50 metres apart, as well as the finished blend to see that the pair are much greater than the sum of their parts. Retaining acidity and focus in a hot year, this is a refined, violet-perfumed Pinot Noir that combines sensuous texture and fruit sweetness with acidity and underlying tannic structure. Domaine Ponsot is flourishing under the new régime."
  • Allen Meadows

    "This too is quite firmly reduced and aromatically unreadable. The velvety and opulent big-bodied flavors brim with an abundance of dry extract that imparts a seductive mid-palate mouth but also serves to buffer the remarkably firm tannic spine shaping the powerful and hugely long finish where the only nit is a suggestion of warmth. This is an imposing wine with the structure to match so this is one to buy and forget you own it."
  • The Wine Advocate

    "Ponsot's 2018 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes was only bottled in July 2020, and its extended élevage has really refined the wine. Opening in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cherries and plums mingled with dark chocolate, preserved citrus peel, woodsmoke and spices, it's full-bodied, concentrated and powerful, with real depth and mid-palate amplitude, its rich, powdery tannins largely concealed in a generous core of fruit. This is a muscular wine somewhat reminiscent of a more gourmand version of the domaine's 2005, and it will demand patience.”"

Other vintages

Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.

  1. Domaine Ponsot Grand Cru Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2019
    • Variety Pinot Noir
    • Vintage 2019
    • Brand Domaine Ponsot
    • Cellaring Ready, but will Keep
    • Wine Type Red
    • Alcohol Percentage 12.5% Alcohol

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.


Burgundy is undoubtedly the home of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnays in the world, where vineyards, or Domaines have been producing wines for over 2000 years. Burgundy is located in the North-east of France, an hours drive from Lyon and 2 hours from Paris. With over 100 appellations, or sub-regions (more than any other wine region) Burgundy is known for being the most terroir-oriented region in the World. The finest red wines of Burgundy are found in the Côte d'Or, a string of villages including Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey St Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-St Georges.

There are flavours present in great Burgundys that are the envy of Pinot Noir producers worldwide. The elusive peacocks tail finish that goes on and on, and the pretty-elegance backed by Burgundy muscle is the goal of winemakers around the globe. The main levels in the Burgundy classifications, in descending order of quality, are: Grand crus, Premier crus, village appellations, and finally regional appellations. For the Chablis wines, a similar hierarchy of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Village wines is used, plus Petit Chablis as a level below Village Chablis.

Clos de la Roche

Clos de la Roche is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) – or controlled designation of origin – for red wine in the Côte de Nuits subregion of Burgundy, where Pinot Noir is the primary grape variety. Clos de la Roche received its Grand Cru appellation in December 1936. Limestone is the predominant soil type here, and it runs only about 30 cm deep. Expect ruby-coloured wines and aromas and flavours similar to those of Chambertin wines.

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About the brand Domaine Ponsot

Domaine Ponsot is rich in history. It was one of the very first domaines in Burgundy to bottle its own wines (in the 1870s) and to begin selling wines under its own label (in the 1930s).

Ponsot has fabulous holdings including perfectly situated parcels of very old vines (100+ years) in Clos St Denis and Clos de la Roche, where Ponsot is the largest land owner with 3.4ha – some three-quarters of the original vineyard.

There are smaller holdings in Chambertin, Griotte Chambertin, Chapelle Chambertin, Clos de Bèze, Charmes Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, Corton, Corton Bressandes, Corton Charlemagne, le Montrachet, Chambolle Musigny 1er cru Les Charmes, and Morey 1er cru Clos de la Monts Luisants (white and red). There is also some Bourgogne rouge and superb village wines from Morey, Gevrey and Chambolle.

No new oak is used. Ponsot buys five year old barrels from other respected domaines to use with his own wines. Most Ponsot barrels are between 10 and 50 years old.

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