CHÂTEAU PONTET CANET

2019 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

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

Very lush out of the gate, with waves of gently mulled plum, blackberry and black currant fruit that roll through slowly, lined with alder, sweet tobacco, worn cedar and singed savory notes. Delivers a late tug of iron that's well-buried on a finish marked by lingering perfume, resulting in an end impression of a rich wine that's very light on its feet. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2036.—J.M. Rating: 94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Jan 2022)


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So many things come together in terms of the finesse and bristling power of the tannins, it is almost drinkable now because everything is so beautifully balanced, but there is concentration and it is likely to close down soon and remain that way for a good 6 or 7 years. Liquorice root, cocoa beans, espresso and aniseed, bilberry and cassis, nothing too silky, instead this has grain and texture, and inches slowly forward, demanding that you pay attention as the elements layer on top of each other. Jean Michel Comme's last vintage as technical director. An upscore from my En Primeur note, and I am looking forward to retasting again for the 2019s in bottle in a month or so. 100% 1st wine, as it has been since 2015. 45% aged in new oak barrel, 15% one year, 40% in amphoras. Drinking range: 2021 - 2050 Rating: 98 Jane Anson (Oct 2021)

The blend this year is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Pontet-Canet has the most gorgeous, lifted perfume of lilacs, dark chocolate, Morello cherries and rosehip tea over a core of crème de cassis, plum preserves, licorice and woodsmoke with a waft of fragrant soil. Full-bodied, rich and fantastically opulent, the palate offers layer upon layer of ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart! Rating: 98-100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (May 2020)

A very tight, compact red that shows wonderful precision and definition with lots of blackberries, blueberries, stones and black tea. The sorting and de-stemming was all done by hand. Love the sensibility to this. Superb length and finesse. Subtle and sophisticated. No pumping over and gentle pushing down. Handmade. Very exciting and thought-provoking. Very long. 35% in amphora and the rest in 50% new oak and 15% one-year oak. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot. Biodynamic grapes. Rating: 98-99 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (May 2020)

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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