The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Anne & Sebastien Bidault and Domaine Ponsot

Posted on | October 13, 2015 | Written by Michael Adler | No Comments

Michael Adler 5.29.15Today I want to focus on one of my favorite villages for Burgundy Pinot Noir, Morey-St-Denis. Located in the far north of the Côte de Nuits, Morey-St-Denis doesn’t receive as much attention from the American wine press as villages like Pommard, Gevrey-Chambertin or Nuits-St-Georges; however, it contains four highly prestigious grand crus and produces some of the most unique and terroir-driven Pinot Noirs on the planet.

While one of the two wines I’ve selected comes from one of Burgundy’s most elite and rarefied estates, Domaine Ponsot, the other comes from a tiny and relatively unknown estate that has been quietly impressing us with its lineup of insanely delicious wines. Now when I say tiny, I really do mean tiny: Domaine Anne & Sebastien Bidault produces only about 5,800 bottles per year, which is fewer than 500 cases total! All wines are sourced from vines that are 50 years old or older, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have not tasted village-level wines with such an amazing sense of terroir and place in years.

The iconic Domaine Ponsot was founded in 1872, and the wine I’m recommending, Ponsot’s legendary Clos de la Roche grand cru, is so highly sought-after that an unscrupulous “collector” sold a parcel of forged vintage bottles at auction for over $600,000 before being caught and convicted of fraud in 2012 (rest assured that IWM’s bottles are quite legitimate). Ponsot is the largest landholder of Clos de la Roche, and it employs sustainable and biodynamic techniques, though the estate is not certified. If you are lucky enough to be in the same room as an opened bottle of Ponsot’s Clos de la Roche, you will not forget the experience.

Anne & Sebastien Bidault 2012 Morey-St-Denis Porroux $54.99

It’s always exciting when I find a Pinot Noir that I love for less than $60. One of four outstanding 2012s that IWM has in stock from Domaine Anne & Sebastien Bidault, the Morey-St-Denis Les Porroux is impressive from the first whiff. Loaded with mouth-coating, rich, and precise, spicy black cherry fruit, lovely minerality and Morey-St-Denis’ signature notes of sauvage, this is a complex and ripe effort that is delicious now but has the potential to age. A prime site in Morey that consistently out performs its village-level classification, the Les Porroux vineyard directly abuts Domaine Roumier’s famous premier cru Clos de la Bussiere to the east. This delightful Pinot Noir is an outstanding food wine and rises far above its appellation. Tasted a day later, this beauty was as fresh as it was the first, and perhaps even more delicious! Bidault made fewer than 600 bottles of this outstanding 2012 Morey-St-Denis; drink it now through 2024.

Domaine Ponsot 2010 Morey-St-Denis Clos de la Roche Grand Cru $749.00

Words aren’t quite capable of describing the magic that is Domaine Ponsot’s legendary Clos de la Roche grand cru. Clos de la Roche is a truly epic wine that is capable of incredible long aging, and it’s one of the most complex, unique and spellbinding wines you will ever have the pleasure of enjoying. While tightly wound in its youth, this wine will take you on a hedonistic carnival ride with time in the cellar. Sleek and finessed yet also firm and structured, this wine epitomizes the old “iron hand in a velvet glove” cliché that often describes Burgundy’s most prestigious wines. This is without a doubt one of the world’s very best wines, and in a vintage such as 2010 it has a very long life ahead of it. For serious Burgundy enthusiasts, this is the “holy grail.”

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