All the superb and dramatic complexity that this displayed from barrel has made it into bottle as an extremely ripe and fantastically broad nose soars from the glass, merging seamlessly into dense, pure rich and powerful flavors that are opulent, sweet and dripping with so much extract and sap that the combination stains and saturates the palate on the hugely proportioned yet impeccably balanced finish that is so long that it doesn't seem possible. 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.
(racked three days before my visit) Full ruby-red. Knockout nose melds black cherry, violet, licorice and brown spices; this is wild yet aristocratic in a Chambertin way. Densely packed, silky and incredibly intense, with palate-saturating flavors of black cherry, spices, minerals and bitter chocolate. As remarkably rich as this is (it's carrying 15% alcohol, according to Ponsot), there's no impression of undue weight. This is old-vines Clos de la Roche in all its savage splendor. Endless finish. Should make a cellar treasure. (ST)
The estate’s flagship 2005 Clos de la Roche Cuvee Vieilles Vignes surges from the glass in an aromatic tidal wave of liqueur-like black raspberry essence, cinnamon spice, praline, chocolate and heady floral sweetness. Incontrovertibly fat and full, not about clarity or discretion but rather about thick, sumptuous layers of flavor that blanket the palate, this will not be every taster’s idea of a great Burgundy -- or perhaps even a good time. Still, there is lift, bright juiciness and a sense of emerging elegance in a finish where sheer intensity and unabashed richness rule but neither the fruit nor tannins are the least bit coarse, and stony, chalky underpinnings break the surface with their own sort of austere beauty. (DS)
The 2005 Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes looks like a second coming of the 1980 vintage of this wine, as it seems quite certain to mirror that former wine’s syrupy opulence and bottomless depth. Laurent feels that this will ultimately be proven to be the wine of the vintage. The bouquet now is very, very deep, very, very powerful and quite primary, as it offers up notes of red plums, black cherries, blood orange, vinesmoke, mustard seed, gamebirds, earth and espresso. On the palate the wine is monumentally scaled, with wave after wave of fruit on the attack, substantial, but very ripe tannins, and great length and grip on the remarkably soil-driven finish, given the onslaught of fruit on the attack. Larger than life.
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