Today we turn our attention to the Grand Cru of Clos de la Roche, in the village of Morey-St-Denis and productive of some of the most characterful wines of Burgundy. The vineyard is beautifully sloped and is pictured above covered with snow. The wines which issue from it often show a marked wild strawberry character along with succulent red cherry and display a real sense of wildness with spiced earth tones. They have a focused linear structure that makes the wines some of the most reliably long lived in all of the Côte de Nuits. There is exceptional persistence of flavor in the best examples, which retain their savory fruit character over decades as sweet floral notes blossom on the nose. Anyone lucky enough to experience fine examples from the eighties of Ponsot or Dujac can attest to the superb potential and strange magic of the site.
The core of this offering includes 6 vintages from the domaine that typifies the vineyard, Domaine Ponsot. This includes a magnum of the 2005 vintage, which in that format will doubtless still be impressing in the latter half of this century. We are also blessed with some of Rousseau’s interpretation of the climat and it is amongst the most delicate and floral renditions in their range. If in the past it has not always been an impressive cuvée for the domaine, the quality has risen dramatically over the past decade- indeed it represents great value nowadays.
Not to be missed are examples from Dujac, that other reliable star producer of the site, and Hubert Lignier, whose recent ascendancy under Laurent Lignier few Burgundy lovers will have missed. Flying out from under the radar are Lignier-Michelot and Coquard Loison Fleurot. The former is producing delightfully hedonistic and texturally supple wines these days. The latter, with its triple barreled name, continues to escape notice yet remain some of the finest values for those looking for ultra-refined and floral Burgundy.
2005 Ponsot Clos de la Roche - Given how many reference standard vintages Domaine Ponsot has produced of the Clos de la Roche over the years, it would be presumptuous to anoint this as the best ever but if it isn't, it will certainly take its rightful place among the very greatest. In sum, a 'wow' wine that makes you shake your head in sheer amazement. However be aware that this is a buy and forget wine as it will require at least 15 years to shed its considerable tannins and it will see 50 years without difficulty. - Allen Meadows
The 2014 Rousseau Clos de la Roche has a fragrant bouquet, coquettish at first, then opening with wet limestone, Morello and cassis scents; it is very defined and focused though not powerful. The palate is silky smooth on the entry, beautifully poised with pure red cherries infused with orange sorbet and captivating mineralité on the finish. This is one of the best Clos de la Roche that I have tasted from Rousseau in recent years - Neal Martin