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CHÂTEAU PONTET CANET

2016 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

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

60% Cabernet sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Deep (but far from black) translucent ruby. The Merlot percentage, Alfred tells us, is high because the the Cabernet berries were so small. No second wine. A first nose of roasted grains. Feels true and natural, as translucent as it looks, bright and clear and juicily expressive. Balance rather than sheer force, but very well-done. Excitingly succulent and 'digeste' and long. Drinking range: 2030 - 2048 Rating: 93-95 L&S (Apr 2017)


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Oh this is good. We are fully up to 2010 level here and coming close to surpassing it. A full wall of tannins, one of those wines that you have to scale to get to the heights but the views are great at the top. Cassis, bilberry, liqourice, black chocolate, aniseed, all with a sense of enegy and such freshness on the finish. Clear depth and vivacity to all elements of this wine. It needs time, because the tannins are a little forbidding right now, but it is going to be worth the wait. Harvest September 28 to October 12. Drinking range: 2021 - 2050 Rating: 98 Jane Anson (Oct 2021)

Reminding me of the 2010 and, I suspect, a wine that will merit a triple-digit rating in a decade or so (I tasted this on multiple occasions and thought it was perfect on one of them), the 2016 Château Pontet-Canet comes from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot that spent 16 months in 50% new French oak, 35% in concrete amphora, and the rest in second fill oak. Thrilling notes of pure crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, crushed mint, graphite, and crushed rock notes all emerge from this deep, powerful, yet elegant Pauillac. The style of this wine has become more and more finesse-driven and pure, yet it hasn’t lost a beat on concentration or length. This singular, beautiful Pontet-Canet needs 7-8 years of cellaring (it has some accessibility today given its purity and balance) and will keep for 4-5 decades. Drinking range: 2026 - 2076 Rating: 98+ Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Mar 2019)

The 2016 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot and 39% Merlot, less Cabernet this year because of the size of the berries. I tasted the wine on two visits to the property around two weeks apart, plus additional tastings at négoçiants. It has an intense bouquet with layers of blackberry, sloes and fresh mint, just a hint of black truffle in the background. It is certainly a little more opulent compared to its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, a little spicier than I expected (in a positive sense) with gentle grip in the mouth. It fans out with confidence, a voluminous Pontet-Canet with an extremely persistent aftertaste, and a saline and balsamic finish. This is an extravagant Pauillac for the vintage that will age over many years. Drinking range: 2026 - 2050 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)

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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