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My lunch with Laurent

March 24, 2023

Monsieur Laurent Ponsot very kindly accepted my offer to host him to lunch at Imperial Treasure Great World, Singapore, on 09 March 2023, almost four years to the date when I’d last met him in Singapore (click here). It seems neither age nor the pandemic has affected him one single bit, for he still appears exactly the same as I’d remembered, picking up his charm and persona where he’d left off. Laurent has made full use of his time, for he’d just completed writing a book about his personal endeavours into the infamous Rudy Kurniawan affair that promises to lay bare about the entire fraudulent wine business. Laurent wouldn’t reveal anything more (“read the book!”) though it’s clear that, even till now, the latter has no place at all in his heart. When I mentioned that Rudy himself had been in this very same private room only four nights ago, Laurent, his eyes twinkling, said he already knew as someone had sent him a photo. Well, well…Laurent is certainly very well-informed about things and he is not afraid to express his opinion. He does not use new oak at all, believing that it is even more permeable to micro-oxygenation, something that he attributes to the high rate of premox encountered in the wines of Domaine Leflaive. Laurent is on a mission to raise the image of negociants, unfairly looked upon as being second-rate to actual domaines, for Domaine Ponsot previously had also run a negociant business, as is Laurent Ponsot’s own line now (established 2017) which is entirely that. He has expanded to more than 20 different wines, each of which is supplied by 5-8 growers which he then blends to produce a representative cuvée. His wines certainly do speak of their individual terroir in full but elegant terms, always very tastefully balanced without resorting to gimmickry even though his labels sport that Star Wars type of font (I personally like it very much). We drank on a theme of Morey-Saint-Denis for the reds to pay hommage to Laurent’s origins; by sheer coincidence, there was a trio of Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, no less. In spite of global warming, Laurent remains highly optimistic that climate change will not adversely affect the quality of wines in the long run, as he points out that climate change has always been a regular phenomenon since the start of time. Well, we must certainly hope that he’s also correct on this, just as he has been on a whole range of issues about winemaking to be who he is today. Merci beaucoup, Laurent, for spending your precious time with us, and we look forward to visiting you in Burgundy soon.


Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2007, courtesy of Russ. Dull golden. Distinct note of grapefruit on the nose, leading to quite a full palate of delicate citrus, pomelo and bitter lemon with a pronounced tone of austere minerals cushioned by a refined density of soft bubbles, oozing with sweet intensity at the finish after some time.

2018 Laurent Ponsot Meursault Charmes Cuvée de la Centaurée, courtesy of Alice. Dull golden. Excellent fullness and density of clear citrus and lemon, structured with clean definition and clarity. Very lively and fresh, displaying good balance between the fruit and its deeper vein of ferrous minerals, stoking the palate with a tinge of sweetness.

2005 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Luchets. Darkish opaque golden hue, proffering a weighty nose of peaches and caramel. Still rather full and agile in spite of its distinct maturity, the fruit approaching that of grapefruit overlaid with fresh frangipani in full bloom against a backdrop of cool chalky tones. Still holding on but I wouldn’t keep any longer.

2012 Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis, courtesy of Russ. Classic pinot tint, exuding a mild rosy fragrance touched with some salinity. Its pedigree is evident throughout the medium palate where its savoury darkish fruit is impeccably balanced against the sleek acidity giving the impression of charred elements, eventually settling down with refined purity.

2020 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of Tim. Very deep crimson. Warm density of ripe red fruits, raspberries and currants on the nose. Bold presence of fruit and slick acidity in equal measure touched with a splash of oak on the full palate. Very well integrated at first, proffering fine gritty inner detail and excellent precision before it developed into a monolithic tannic presence, becoming way too angular.

2018 Laurent Ponsot Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of Alice. This wine opens with a rich dark rosy fragrance, superbly lifted. The palate is medium-full, layered with a fleshy abundance of bright red fruit that exude a warm ripeness, not overly extracted. Highly refined and beautifully balanced, finishing with good length.

1998 Domaine Dujac Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of Russ. Mature pinot tint, proffering an alluring warm fragrance of red fruits and mandarins from fruit that is beautifully mature yet tremendously lively and agile, still imbued with fine intensity, yielding layers of enticing flavours from melted sweet tannins. Marries real charm, elegance and understated power. Outstanding.


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