Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Cuvée des Alouettes 2018

  • 94 points - Decanter Magazine
  • Domaine Ponsot is famously the largest landowner in Clos de la Roche
  • 92 points - Jasper Morris MW
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Decanter
    94 points
  • Jasper Morris M
    92 points
  • The Wine Advoca
    92 points
  • Burghound
    91 points

Editors notes

Here the expressive nose offers up a pretty array of violet, pomegranate and red cherry liqueur trimmed in a hint of earth. There is again very good richness to the more finely detailed and vibrant middle weight flavors that possess better complexity and length on the similarly rustic, indeed even slightly raspy, finish.


Tasting Profile

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

Food Pairings

  • Fish
  • Game
  • Poultry

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Decanter

    "Cuvée Les Alouettes is one of four wines that Domaine Ponsot sources from its holdings in Monts Luisants, sourced from a parcel with more top soil in the middle of the slope. Showing subtle reduction and commendable freshness for a wine with 14% alcohol, it's chalky, bright and well-balanced, with a core of red cherry fruit and tany, supporting acidity."
  • Jasper Morris MW

    "This comes from the 1er Cru section of Morey’s Monts Luisants vineyard, much of which is today AOC Clos de la Roche. Ponsot labels it Cuvée des Alouettes (an alouette is a lark), to differentiate it from the white wine that also comes from this lieu-dit (the 1er Cru Clos des Monts Luisants Blanc). This section of the vineyard is now ploughed by horse. The vines are between 30 and 50 years old and rooted in white oolite limestone, which typically begets a deep, slow-to-unwind red Burgundy that becomes a vivid, flowing Chambolle-esque 1er Cru with 10 years in the bottle. Previous vintages of this label have been described variously as tasting like a mini Bonnes Mares or a mini Clos de la Roche. The 2018 is another outstanding example of the vintage as the notes below make clear. “Dense purple black with a fresher rim. Exceptional intensity with very fresh acidity, not quite married up yet. Some bilberries, with impressive density."
  • The Wine Advocate

    "A touch of youthful reduction dissipates as the 2018 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Cuvée des Alouettes opens in the glass, revealing aromas of rich berry fruits, smoked meats, spices and orange rind. Medium to full-bodied, layered and fleshy, it's bright and lively, with an elegantly muscular core of fruit that largely conceals the wine's fine structuring tannins. Domaine Ponsot started picking on September 20, and winemaker Alexandre Abel reported yields some 35% to 40% below average, with alcohols in the 14s and healthy pHs at around 3.3. Yet while alcohols in 2019 were if anything higher than in 2018, the 2019 wines are more elegant, with livelier fruit tones and less overtly muscular structure. That's not a criticism of the 2018s, however, which we revisited from bottle, confirming that they are wines that will require patience: interestingly, the most put-together of the range was the Clos de la Roche, a cuvée that was bottled last, in July 2020, and which certainly seemed to have profited from the longer élevage."
  • Burghound

    "Here the expressive nose offers up a pretty array of violet, pomegranate and red cherry liqueur trimmed in a hint of earth. There is again very good richness to the more finely detailed and vibrant middle weight flavors that possess better complexity and length on the similarly rustic, indeed even slightly raspy, finish."

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.

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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.


Morey-Saint-Denis is an appellation village of the Côte de Nuits subregion of the Côte d'Or of eastern France. The appellation includes 20 Premiers Crus and five Grands Crus (Clos de Tart, Bonnes Mares, Clos de la Roche, Clos Saint-Denis, and Clos des Lambrays). Pinot Noir accounts for most of the plantings here, though several plots have plantings of either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. These white wines are rare, opulent, and generally firm. The Pinot Noir wines are bright-ruby- or garnet-coloured with purple highlights. On the nose, you’ll find notes of both black and red fruits, including blackcurrant and cherry, with variants displaying the likes of violet, licorice, and bramble. With age, they develop characters of moss, leather, game, and truffle. On the palate, these well-structured wines superbly balance fruit, body, and tannin.

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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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