CLOS DE LA ROCHE (CDLR), Grand Cru – a prestigious Grand Cru not only in Morey Saint Denis (MSD), but in whole of Burgundy.
At 16.9ha, It is also THE largest Grand Cru in MSD. However, unlike Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru that is not consistent in quality due to too many sub-par producers, CDLR is blessed with many great producers hence the very high quality bottles are easily found.
TOP TIER PRODUCERS
- DOMAINE DUJAC
- DOMAINE HUBERT LIGNIER
- DOMAINE PONSOT
- DOMAINE LEROY
NOT TOP BUT WORTH A TRY
- LOUIS REMY (more refined expression in recent vintages)
- POUSSE d’OR
- LUCIEN LE MOINE
- and so on……
CDLR Shares broadly similar soils with its neighbours ClOS SAINT DENIS (CSD), GRAND CRU (I love the subtleness, silkiness, feminine and finesse here), Gevrey Aux Combottes 1er Cru & Mazoyeres Chambertin, Grand Cru. It has relatively rich brown limestone soils admixed with abundant limestone scree material which imparts breadth, flesh and ultimately finesse to the wines. (quote: Remington Norman, Grand Cru)
This is a masculine version compared to the feminine Clos Saint Denis. Always with the wildness. The power and structured that reminded me of Chambertin Grand Cru. Under talented hands, the sheer complexity, breadth and depth will easily rivalling any great Burgundy out there.
It is always fascinating to be able to serve both Dujac & Ponsot CDLR side by side, a plus for the same vintage. Do note that these two wines were served blind and both owners didn’t know they were from the same vintage, same plot.
They are both very different in style. Dujac using whole cluster and new oak (90-100% for their Grand Crus) while Ponsot practices fully-destemmed with no new oak.
2011 DOMAINE PONSOT CLOS DE LA ROCHE VV, GRAND CRU
My experience with Ponsot has been hit or miss. His wines (top to bottom) are mostly backward, unexpressive even for a more approachable vintage like 2001, therefore I have hardly enjoy his wines despite this is a Tier-1 domaine for many and always highly rated. However, the 2008 CDLR is one of the best I have ever had. Young by Ponsot standard. But man, it was so seductive and full of finesse and lushness, absolutely delicious!
The 2011 today is almost the same as 2008. We were consider lucky when a young Ponsot, especially CDLR is opening for business. What a lovely color, so vibrant n inviting. Candy, cola, cherry, floral. This is transparent with lovely acidity and excellent juiciness n purity on the palate. Great harmony. Great length. Just a tad too fruits forward today and will definitely develops more nuances in the bottle. No green meanie!
2011 DOMAINE DUJAC CLOS DE LA ROCHE, GRAND CRU
If you read my previous post for Dujac, you know this is the Domaine that I’m adored. I have never had a bad Dujac before and to me, if you wanted to experience a good Burgundy, Dujac will get you hooked.
Haha, the telltale Dujac aromatic profile that is so seductive w the ripe fruits and coffee, earth w hint of stem. Excellent transparency, sweetness, umami, silky fine tannin, so juicy and captivating. Very long w touch of spices and coffee that’s lingering. Dujac is my top favorite Domaine and this deliver the expectation. Blinded and got this right, 2011 CDLR. It was splitting hair to choose the winner between Ponsot and Dujac. Both excellent w Dujac offer better complexity but Ponsot will catch up.
These two bottles are why people love about Burgundy. Same vineyard, Same Vintage, different producers with different expression, yet both are GREAT!