CHÂTEAU PONTET CANET

2005 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 5ème Cru Classé

Huge glossy purple-edged black. Deep blackberry fruit perfectly balanced between fruit and firmness. Not the viscosity of Las Cases but a firmer, brighter definition. Stays sweet-tasting throughout. A bit of toasty oak, but its really the mineral depth which dominates. Impressive and likeable. Seamless flavoury consistency goes on and on - very long. Really a big thundering boom of flavour, but still, as Alfred Tesseron says, 'un tres grand précision'. One of the vintage's great wines, and tops off the upward trajectory that has been going on here for a number of vintages in the most spectacular fashion. This is real wine in the most natural-seeming style, again making me think of it as the Léoville Barton of Pauillac. Yields were a low 35hl/ha in 2005, so sadly there will be less of it. Rating: 95-95 L&S (Apr 2006)

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Tasted blind. Blackish crimson. Spicy sweet fruit and then dry. Pleasure before a bit of pain, but overall it’s well done and pretty glamorous. Drinking range: 2017 - 2040 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Feb 2017)

Tasted at the Pontet-Canet vertical in London, 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 marvelous freshness and vitality all the way through to the pencil-lead, quite saline finish. I suspect that the 2009 Pontet-Canet is more approachable than the 2005, so heeding Robert Parker's sage advice, afford this up to ten years in your cellar and then reap the rewards of patience. Tasted February 2016. Drinking range: 2026 - Rating: 97-97 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Feb 2016)

Possibly the youngest wine of all the 2005 Médocs in terms of its evolution, at age 10 the inky purple 2005 Pontet-Canet tastes more like a two-year-old wine. Loads of pure blueberry, blackberry and cassis fruit are present along with a hint of licorice and background oak. It is full-bodied, ripe, and excruciatingly fresh, vigorous and exuberant. This is a tour de force, and a sensational effort that rivals the first growths. Give it another 5-10 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 30-40 years. Drinking range: 2020 - 2065 Rating: 97-97 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Jun 2015)

Good full ruby-red. Complex, enticing aromas of black raspberry, licorice, minerals, bitter chocolate, lead pencil and pungent cedar; just this side of exotic. Wonderfully silky, sweet and thick, with a powerful minerality framing the currant, graphite and spice flavors. This boasts superb inner-mouth energy and great length, with the full, ripe tannins totally enrobed by the wine's mid-palate richness. Rating: 95-95 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com(May 2008)

Black-red, quite smoky, concentrated fruit, shows great firmness and depth, high levels of tannin, a wine for the long term. Drink 2015-40. Rating: ****/18 www.decanter.com(May 2006)

Glorious aromas of currants, blackberries and cherries with hints of vanilla and cedar. Full-bodied, with exuberant fruit. Velvety tannins. Soft and round mouthfeel. This is supercharged with fruit. Wonderful purity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Very low yields this year. Best ever from here? Rating: 95-100 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(May 2006)

Château Pontet Canet

Pauillac Cinquième cru 1855 Such is the speed with which Pontet-Canet's star has risen of recent that it could almost feel as if it's a new estate bursting on to the scene. But it has a long history, in keeping with its noble neighbours, but a long history of under-achievement, a moniker it has only just shaken off. During the 18th Century, Jean-François de Pontet, and his descendants, built up a very healthy portfolio of vineyard in the Médoc. Those that they owned in St Julien were, eventually, disposed of but the large estate that they assembled in Pauillac was retained and has resisted the fragmentation that afflicted so many Médoc estates over the years. Consequently, at 80ha of vines in a 120ha estate, Pontet-Canet is one of the largest Cru Classé estates. By the time of the 1855 classification, despite being the neighbour of Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite, Pontet-Canet could "only" scrape 5th Growth status. Herman Cruse bought the run down estate in 1865 and, initially, put in the neccessary investment to realise the vineyard's potential. But, by the mid-20th Century, Pontet-Canet's production was mediocre at best. Salvation came when the Cruse family, beset with scandal, were forced to sell Pontet-Canet to a Cognac shipper Guy Tesseron in 1975. He, with his son Alfred, have, at last, allowed Pontet-Canet to blossom. It has taken a lot of work, a lot of investment, and a lot of time to perform the miracle but, since the mid-1990's, Pontet-Canet has produced wines of immense quality and longevity, much loved by Robert Parker and far exceeding 5th Growth status. Lying on a wide plateau of poor gravel soils, with Mouton Rothschild and d'Armailhac immediately to the north and the Carruades de Lafite vineyard to the west, Pontet-Canet is planted to 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The vineyards are farmed biodynamically, the first classed growth vineyard in the Médoc to do so. In keeping with that, they have eschewed tractors in favour of horses, who's hooves are kinder to the soil than tractor tyres. The Grand Vin spends 16 to 20 months in wood, of which 60% typically is new. There is a second wine - Les Hauts de Pontet Canet.

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