Domaine Ponsot was founded in 1872 when William Ponsot returned from the Franco-Prussian war and bought an estate in Morey-Saint-Denis on the Cote de Nuit, in Burgundy. The Ponsots began bottling estate wine in 1934, much earlier than most Burgundy producers, and today the estate is still owned and operated by the Ponsot family. Laurent Ponsot has been in charge since 1983 and the estate now includes some 27 acres. Clive Coates has called it “one of the most individual domaines in Burgundy” because of late picking, the practice of retaining up to 25% stems, fermenting at high temperatures and using new oak, among other policies. The estate makes highly regarded premier cru and village wines. Of special note is a premier cru blanc made, in recent years, entirely of Aligote. Older vintages include 20 - 30% Chardonnay.
Griotte-Chambertin, sometimes spelled Griottes-Chambertin, is in Robert M. Parker Jr.’s words “a miniscule jewel of a vineyard” at just 6.7 acres. It is located across the road from Clos de Beze and produces only 800 cases of wine a year. The soil is extremely thin but the vineyard has excellent drainage, and wine writers all seem to agree that wines from Griotte-Chambertin are outstanding. Clive Coates writes that “Griotte has a poise and individuality that raises it above all but the very best Charmes.” Principal landholders are Ponsot/Domaine des Chezeaux, 2.23 acres; Rene Leclerc/Domaine des Chezeaux, 1.88 acres; and Joseph Drouhin, 1.33 acres.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.