While Burgundy produces many of the world’s most elegantand highly regarded wines on the fine wine market, numerous aficionados believe that the best of the best are those hailing from the village of Pommard. Dedicated to producing wine made exclusively from exceptionally cultivated Pinot Noir grapes, the iconic offerings of Pommard are some of the most powerful, assertive and full-bodied reds available, all while featuring a truly signature combination of richness, depth and sheer delicacy.
There are no fewer than 28 Premier Crus in Pommard, with both critics and connoisseurs alike asserting that most actually rival wine coming from nearby Corton, home to Côte De Beaune’s finest Grand Cru reds. In fact, many believe that Pommard’s top-tier vineyards, such as Les Epenots and Les Rugiens, deserve being elevated to Grand Cru status. There was a time when these two vineyards were offered inclusion in this classification; however, their owners refused the offer due to their reluctance to
So what’s behind Pommard’s reputation for perfection? Perhaps it starts with the soil, which is predominantly composed of iron-rich clay formed by the Dheune River that runs through the area. A loose, centuries-oldalluvium foundation sets the pace, with clay, marl and limestone residing mid-slope among rock debris with that promotes beneficial drainage. These combined factors produce Pinot Noir grapes that are powerful and fruit-forward, with dense, masculine tannins.
Pommard’s name reflects its long-standing history of viniculture. Derived from Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees, Pommard wines date back to the Middle Ages when the area was first referred to as the “flower of Bourgogne wines,” meaning that its products featured the standard by which all other wine in Burgundy were measured. Pommard wines first gained substantial recognition in the late 17th century, after the property had changed hands numerous times among nobility, religious orders and aristocrats. By 1936, the appellation as it is known today was created. It remains the second largest wine appellation, and one of four that produces Pinot Noir.
In the case of Pommard, Pinot Noir is the sole wine produced.
The wines from Pommard are notoriously seductive: deep in color, it is highly aromatic and features notes of blackberry, gooseberry, black cherry and dark plum. As it matures, it begins to present a peppery undertone that dovetails with chocolate and leather. Rich, firm but delicate in structure, age also tempers its massive tannins to a smoother level, allowing an openness that is lacking in its youth. As such, Pommard wines are best enjoyed after at least a decade of aging.
Is Pommard truly the ultimate expression of Burgundy’s prized Pinot Noir varietals? The ideal way to find out is to open a bottle and pour.