Château Pontet Canet - Pauillac

92 points - The Wine Advocate
96 points - The Wine Advocate
99 points - The Wine Advocate
97 points - The Wine Advocate
95 points - The Wine Advocate
93 points - The Wine Advocate
93 points - The Wine Advocate
100 points - The Wine Advocate
100 points - The Wine Advocate
96 points - The Wine Advocate
94 points - The Wine Advocate
97 points - The Wine Advocate
92 points - The Wine Advocate
95 points - The Wine Advocate
Château Pontet Canet - Pauillac - 2016 - 75cl - Onshore Cellars

Château Pontet Canet - Pauillac

92 points - The Wine Advocate
96 points - The Wine Advocate
99 points - The Wine Advocate
97 points - The Wine Advocate
95 points - The Wine Advocate
93 points - The Wine Advocate
93 points - The Wine Advocate
100 points - The Wine Advocate
100 points - The Wine Advocate
96 points - The Wine Advocate
94 points - The Wine Advocate
97 points - The Wine Advocate
92 points - The Wine Advocate
95 points - The Wine Advocate
Vintage
Size
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While Justine Tesseron declined my request to taste at the property, I was able to acquire a bottle of the 2020 Pontet-Canet for review. The wine starts strong, wafting from the glass with attractive aromas of cherries, sweet berries and plum preserve mingled with lilac and licorice, but that's followed by a medium to full-bodied, firm and extracted palate that lacks the amplitude and flesh to conceal the rather drying tannins which dominate the earthy finish. It's an open secret among Bordeaux insiders that this estate—which has benefited from such significant and laudable investments and which was on such an upward trajectory through 2011—has been a perplexingly erratic performer since 2012, intermingling successful vintages with relative failures, and the 2020 only confirms that. While the 2020 isn't by any means a flawed wine, and time may well be kind to it, it doesn't transcend this estate's fifth growth status, even if this château's terroir clearly has the potential to.
Composed of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the medium to deep garnet-purple coloured 2017 Pontet-Canet gives up beautifully fragrant notes of rosehip tea, lilacs, cinnamon stick, cloves, dried leaves, and underbrush with a core of kirsch, raspberry coulis, warm plums, and red and black currants plus a waft of pencil shavings. Medium-bodied, the palate is refreshing, minerally and wonderfully elegant with a well-played texture of approachable, plush tannins and a long, fragrant finish. Beautiful. Aging took place in 50% new and 15% in second fill barrels and the remaining 35% in amphorae for 16 months, much of the material for which came from the soil at Pontet-Canet!
Deep garnet-purple in colour, the 2016 Pontet-Canet hits the ground running with a hedonic nose of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis and blueberry pie plus suggestions of candied violets, hoisin, chocolate mint, charcuteries and forest floor with a waft of star anise. Full-bodied, rich, profoundly layered and powerfully fruited, the palate is built like a brick house, with very firm, super ripe, grainy tannins and harmonious freshness, finishing with incredible length and depth. Still incredibly primary and yet already strutting so many layers, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this warrants the three-digit score in a few years' time.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Pontet-Canet comes charging out of the glass with fantastically expressive notes of black cherry preserves, black raspberries and blackcurrant pastilles plus touches of kirsch, wilted roses, tobacco, camphor and cinnamon stick with a waft of fragrant soil. Full bodied, the palate is laden with black and red fruit layers, supported by very firm, very finely grained tannins and provocative freshness, finishing with incredible length and stunningly perfumed.
Deep garnet with a hint of purple to the color, the 2014 Pontet-Canet gives a very serious, classic Pauillac nose of blackcurrant preserves, baked blackberries and warm black plums with suggestions of menthol, pencil lead, woodsmoke, cassia and cast-iron pan plus a hint of baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with black and blue fruit preserves with a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and bold freshness, giving lift to the long, exotic spice-laced finish. It is approachable now, but really should start to make jaws drop in another 4-5 years.
Deep garnet in color, the 2012 Pontet-Canet gives up a profound earthy/savory nose, revealing notes of tilled soil, woodsmoke, mossy tree bark, fungi and bouquet garni with a core of raspberry preserves, boysenberries and dried cherries plus a hint of warm cassis. Medium-bodied, it has a firm grainy texture and a softly spoken, savory character in the mouth, finishing with lingering oolong tea and dried herbs notes.
Deep garnet in color, the 2011 Pontet-Canet comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of redcurrant jelly, warm cassis and blackberry pie plus touches of dried mint, mocha, smoked meats and yeast extract with a waft of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has bags of energy with lively red and black fruits and compelling mineral accents, finishing long with a provocative lift.
The 2010 Pontet-Canet offers a very deep garnet colour. Whoa—the nose explodes with a vast array of black fruit preserves and savoury nuances: plum preserves, blackcurrant cordial, black cherry coulis and liquorice with wafts of dried lavender, melted chocolate, charcuterie, black olives, truffles, and camphor plus a hint of sandalwood. The full-bodied palate is completely filled with black fruits, exotic spices and earthy nuances with a firm foundation of ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. So much more expressive and seductive than a lot of 2010s at this stage, and yet it is still incredibly youthful!
Deep garnet in color, the 2009 Pontet-Canet slips sensuously from the glass with opulent scents of crème de cassis, baked plums and Black Forest cake plus suggestions of Chinese five spice, potpourri, oolong tea and menthol. Full-bodied, rich, spicy and oh-so-decadent in the mouth, it has a fantastically velvety frame and seamless freshness, finishing very long.
A candidate for the “wine of the vintage,” Pontet Canet’s 2008 boasts an opaque purple color as well as copious aromas of sweet blueberries, blackberries and black currant fruit intertwined with lead pencil shavings, subtle barbecue smoke and a hint of forest floor. Full-bodied, with fabulous richness, texture and tremendous freshness, this first-growth-like effort is more developed than the uber-powerful 2010. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following three decades. Bravo!
The 2006 Château Pontet-Canet has an extremely pure, vivacious, perfumed bouquet with crushed violets infusing the blueberry and blackberry fruit. But it is all about the detail and precision in this wine. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip in the mouth: lightly toasted black fruit, dried orange peel, cedar and a pinch of white pepper. This feels very cohesive and poised with just a touch of mint entering right on the finish. What a great wine from Alfred Tesseron and Jean-Michel Comme. Go grab the corkscrew now, but don't feel that this wine has to be opened for another 5-6 years.
The 2005 Château Pontet-Canet has long been one of the stars of the vintage and this might well be the best of over a dozen showings of this wine. However, do not expect ostentation on the nose. This is 2005 and like many wines of this vintage, even with considerable decanting, it remained broody and introspective on the nose, as if it is checking you out and seeing if you are worthy. Once you have been accepted, then it swings the doors open to reveal gorgeous scents of blackberry, briary and cassis fruit, perhaps a little more sous bois than I have noticed compared to previous bottles. The palate is medium-bodied, but dense and structured—certainly a more masculine Pontet-Canet built for long-term ageing. Yet it retains marvellous freshness and vitality all the way through to the pencil-lead, quite saline finish.
It seems clear that the 2004 Château Pontet-Canet is predestined to always fall under the shadow of the 2005. Don't overlook this gem. The bouquet delivers pure blackberry, pencil lead and tobacco notes that are more generous than the 2005 now—open for business, you might say. There is an element of dried herbs here, a hint of black tar. The palate is medium-bodied and quite sturdy in the mouth, the tannins perhaps "abrasive" when juxtaposed against the 2005, however they are couched in unexpectedly intense earthy black fruit that frame a tannic finish. If you hanker for a sumptuous Pontet-Canet, then opt for 2003 or 2009, but if your predilection is for a more "classic" Pauillac, then 2004 Pontet-Canet fits the bill. Undoubtedly a great wine from Alfred Tesseron for the vintage, I would start, broaching bottles now but keep a stash back for 4-5 years' time when those tannins have softened.
A spectacular effort from Pontet Canet. The opaque ruby/purple-colored 2000 offers a gorgeously pure, intense bouquet of blackberry liqueur, cassis, smoke, and Asian spices. The Pontet Canet displays a firm, classic feel in the mouth, high tannin, medium to full body, exceptional concentration as well as purity, and a long finish. Bravo!
Type:
Red
Country:
France
Region:
Bordeaux
Appellation:
Pauillac
Producer:
Château Pontet Canet
Grapes/Blend:
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
ABV:
14%

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Behind the bottle

Château Pontet Canet

Château Pontet Canet

Alfred Tesseron and his team, led by Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet’s régisseur (estate manager) since 1989, have completely transformed both the vineyard and the identity of Château Pontet-Canet. Pontet-Canet's...

Alfred Tesseron and his team, led by Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet’s régisseur (estate manager) since 1989, have completely transformed both the vineyard and the identity of Château Pontet-Canet. Pontet-Canet's vines are situated within the commune of Pauillac, where the vineyard spans 81 hectares.

Leaving behind conventional vine growing techniques in order to embrace organic and biodynamic methods, they have allowed the terroir to reclaim its origins; the vines seem liberated and the grapes have never been more beautiful. The wines of Pontet-Canet have progressed so much that they are now among the most prestigious in Bordeaux.


Château Pontet Canet
Bordeaux - Onshore Cellars

Bordeaux

Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, needs little introduction as one of the world's most famous, prestigious and prolific wine regions. The majority of Bordeaux wines (nearly 90...
Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, needs little introduction as one of the world's most famous, prestigious and prolific wine regions. The majority of Bordeaux wines (nearly 90 percent of production volume) are the dry, medium- and full-bodied red Bordeaux Blends that established its reputation.

The finest (and most expensive) of these are the wines from the great châteaux of the Haut-Médoc and the Right Bank appellations Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The former is focused (at the top level) on Cabernet Sauvignon, the latter pair on on Merlot.

The legendary reds are complemented by high-quality white wines based on Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. These range from dry whites to challenge the best from the Burgundy region (Pessac-Léognan is particularly renowned) to the sweet, botrytized nectars of Sauternes.
Explore Bordeaux
Pauillac

Pauillac

Pauillac is a wine appellation located in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France. It is known for producing some of the finest red wines in the world, with...

Pauillac is a wine appellation located in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France. It is known for producing some of the finest red wines in the world, with a reputation for elegance, complexity, and longevity. Pauillac is home to some of the most famous châteaux in Bordeaux, including Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Mouton Rothschild.

The history of winemaking in Pauillac dates back to the Roman era, but it was not until the 17th century that the region began to gain recognition for its wines. The Dutch were the first to recognize the potential of Pauillac wines, and they began importing them to their home country in large quantities. In the 18th century, Pauillac wines became popular in England, and they were soon being exported to other parts of Europe and the world.

The style of production in Pauillac is traditional, with a focus on quality over quantity. The vineyards are planted on gravelly soils, which provide excellent drainage and reflect the heat back onto the vines, helping to ripen the grapes. The grapes grown in Pauillac are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The wines are typically aged in oak barrels for 18-24 months, which adds complexity and depth to the final product.

The typical wines from Pauillac are full-bodied, with intense aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, and cedar. They are known for their firm tannins, which give the wines structure and longevity. Pauillac wines are often described as having a "pencil lead" or "graphite" character, which is a result of the gravelly soils in which the grapes are grown. The wines are also known for their ability to age gracefully, with some of the best vintages lasting for decades.

In conclusion, Pauillac is a wine appellation with a rich history and a reputation for producing some of the finest red wines in the world. The traditional style of production, the gravelly soils, and the focus on quality over quantity all contribute to the unique character of Pauillac wines. If you are looking for a wine with elegance, complexity, and longevity, look no further than Pauillac.

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