1996 Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes

92
JG
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Wine Critic Reviews for 1996 Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes

(Clos de la Roche “Vieilles Vignes”- Domaine Ponsot) The 1996 vintage at Domaine Ponsot was a controversial one, as this wine in particular was very light in both color and apparent body when it was first released in bottle and several commentators questioned whether or not Laurent Ponsot had succeeded in this vintage. At the time, Monsieur Ponsot had responded that his 1996s would be just fine in the fullness of time; they just needed some bottle age to blossom. Twenty-two years down the road, he has been vindicated, as this wine showed very nicely at our tasting, albeit, not quite in the same level of the finest vintages of this era at the domaine. But, the light and thin wine of youth was long gone, as the 1996 Ponsot Clos de la Roche is now quite classic in its expression, offering up a deep and complex bouquet of red and black cherries, beetroot, woodsmoke, venison, fresh herb tones and a good base of slightly damp soil. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, wide open and quite complex, with a plush core, fine focus and grip, modest tannins and a long, broad and well-balanced finish. The acidity here seems a bit less pronounced than in many other 1996s, but of course the house style here is for very late harvesting and this would have allowed the acids in the grapes to drop a bit prior to picking. A very, very good wine, but without quite the vibrant magnetism of wines such as the 1991 or 1993 Ponsot Clos de la Roche. (Drink between 2018-2045).

John Gilman | 92 JG
In contrast to some of the Ponsot '96s the Clos de la Roche is really quite good with lovely aromatic complexity on the fully mature yet still vibrant and fresh red berry fruit, spice, earth, game and smoke hints. The is reasonably good density in the context of a vintage that produced any number of lighter wines and the old vines clearly show as the phenolic maturity of the remaining tannins is much better than the average '96, all wrapped in a delicious and solidly long finish that displays only a trace of acid tang. Tasted several times with mostly consistent notes.

Burghound | 91 BH
Delicious, vibrant, pure blackberry and raspberry character blends nicely with smoky, toasted aromas. Elegant and medium-bodied, with smooth tannins, this a delightful, well-made '96. Long finish. Best from 2003 through 2012. 980 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 90 WS

More Information
Vintage 1996
Color Red
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Producer Domaine Ponsot
Rating 92 JG
Region Burgundy: Situated just west of the beautiful river Saone, the hills and valleys of Burgundy stand as they have stood since medieval times, and you can almost hear the cheerful chatter of vineyard workers from miles away. Indeed, France's identity in the world of wine would be incomplete without the inclusion of Burgundy and its many viticultural achievements. Every little sub-region of the area boasts a unique soil composition, which, when combined with the area's climate conditions, creates an incredibly diverse and appealing selection of fine wines. Every new bottle is an adventure of its own, and a snapshot of its birthplace. You could spend years sampling great Burgundian wines, and you would still have a lot to learn, which is what makes the region so compelling for veterans and novice wine lovers alike. No matter what your taste in wines may be, there is a winery in Burgundy that could mesmerize your mind and make your senses scream with joy. And what better way to spend a comfy summer afternoon with your friends and family than with a classy bottle from some of the region's most reputable wineries? From the noble slopes of Cote d'Or to the flatlands near various settlements, let us help you on your journey as we explore Burgundy's most delicious and renowned wines.
Type of Wine Burgundy Red: If you have a craving for some beautiful, mind-expanding Pinot Noir, few regions can match the talent and consistency of Burgundy. The grape almost seems like it evolved for this very region, and its essence will stimulate your senses and arouse your imagination. Drink deep and experience almost spiritual enlightenment.
OWC No
Varietal Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is possibly the most versatile red grape when it comes to the ways it's been used over the years. From red wines to sparkling wines and beyond, there aren't many places where you can avoid hearing about it, and for a good reason. It's often easy to spot a bottle of Pinot Noir simply by the pale, translucent color, which transitions into a shade reminiscent of old-timey brickwork, adding a lovely dash of country charm to an already awe-inspiring drink.
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