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This was a magical bottle of the 1999 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, a wine that's just beginning to hit its stride as it approaches its 20th birthday, unfurling in the glass with aromas of red berries, cassis, dark chocolate, cinnamon, dried rose petals and orange rind. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and immensely concentrated, with a broad attack, lovely acids and a formidable reserve of creamy old-vine fruit, structured around a chalky chassis of tannin that evokes the great old Burgundies of yesteryear. Concluding with a long and expansive finish, this is still a young wine, and another two decades of aging won't be a problem. But it's now clear that this ranks as one of Ponsot's greatest recent hits—and one of the high points of this reputed vintage.
**Note: the aggregate size of this holding is a whopping 3.4 ha and Ponsot is easily the largest holder in Clos de la Roche**
A spicy, ripe and relatively expressive nose features superbly complex aromas that combine maturing red, black and dark berry fruit elements along with plenty of pungent earth character. There is terrific intensity to the seductively sappy and concentrated broad-shouldered but well-detailed flavors that offer knock out power. This really does a slow build from the attack all the way to the explosive finish that lingers for minutes. As impressive as the wine is however, the structure has once again begun to assert itself and thus it will likely need another 5 to 8 years of cellar time to be at its best. Tasted thrice recently with similar results though, somewhat worryingly, a fourth bottle displayed enough brett to notice.
This has begun to shut down somewhat, particularly on the nose even with extended airing. However the mid-palate is intensely sappy and concentrated with gorgeously detailed flavors that offer knock out intensity, building slowly from the attack all the way to the explosive finish and lingers for minutes. As impressive as the wine is however, the structure has begun to assert itself and thus this will need another 6 to 10 or be at its best. Tasted twice recently with similar results.
The 1999 Clos de la Roche Vieille Vignes is one of Laurent's best wines from this hallowed vineyard. It has a generous bouquet that, as I commented before, does not mess about, almost ""hugging"" the olfactory senses and begging to be loved. It swarms with cranberry and raspberry scents, and continues to emit something almost Tuscan, but here with a little more mineralite. The palate is medium-bodied, sweet and round, lithe in the mouth with very wonderful persistency. Rubenesque! Tasted November 2013.