Laurent Ponsot left his family winery Domaine Ponsot in 2017.

“I like to challenge, to invent and try new things.” Laurent Ponsot

This appears to be a great one-liner summary of the haute couture line of wines made by Laurent Ponsot and his son. This eponymous line of wines bears the name of Laurent Ponsot and are crafted from quality grapes he partly bought from growers and partly grow himself. As the great man succinctly put, one of the key roles he’d like to fulfill is that of a “haute couture negociant”. The image of Karl Lagerfeld somehow flashes in our mind right away. For the 2016 vintage, Laurent Ponsot has released only 47,000 bottles. As for 2017 vintage, production increases by about a third. Laurent Ponsot’s ultimate goal is to work with a volume of 500 to 600 barrels of wines, which is roughly 4 times the amount of wines Domaine Ponsot currently produces. First thing first, what are the similarities and differences between Domaine Ponsot and Laurent Ponsot’s new line of haute couture wines?

1. Laurent Ponsot line of wines places more focus on more humble origins than those of Domaine Ponsot.

Whilst Domaine Ponsot has always been associated with Grand Cru bottlings, Laurent Ponsot line of wines include regional and village sites. One can taste Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc made in the talented hands of Laurent Ponsot – finally.

2. No new oak barrels in both Domaine Ponsot and Laurent Ponsot. Laurent Ponsot has always been a strong advocate against oakiness in wines.

Photo Credit: New York Times

In his new line of wines, he continues to adhere to such disdain against overt oak flavours in wines by refraining from using any new oak barrels. As with what he has done at Domaine Ponsot, he continues to use only older oak barrels (often 5 years old barrels he bought from other wineries) to allow slow oxygenation in his wines.

3. Minimal intervention is a common theme in Domaine Ponsot and Laurent Ponsot wines, however the latter is to see a more vibrant experimental spirit, and also scalability.

Burgundy lovers can expect both wines to observe the following: No chemicals, going as natural as can be (and staying away from all the certifications and accreditations of recognized farming systems) and a general avoidance of sulphur dioxide. Laurent Ponsot has repeatedly hinted that experimenting and trying out new things are going to be two key aspirations of his when he launched this new venture. We await to see.

4. Both Domaine Ponsot and Laurent Ponsot wines are “protected” by technology.

Photo Credit: Victor Protasio

From Ardea seal, to use of microchip to enhance verifiable authenticity, and temperature change colour tags, Laurent Ponsot first introduced that to his family domaine, and he is putting these add-ons to his own line of wines as well in order to add assurance to provenance.

5. Laurent Ponsot as a line of wines openly suggests that the iconoclastic man is looking at redefining the Burgundy experience.

Photo Credit: Jancis Robinson

From the futuristic label he designed with Cicada, to his ambitious plans to open a technology-enabled visitor centre near Clos de Vougeot; it speaks of the man’s grand visions to find a next-generation way to introduce Burgundy to the world.