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)
* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.
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)
Clear Pauillac character in terms of its tannic structure, overlaid with the Pontet signature of recent vintages that translates into spirals of peony and iris alongside brambled hedgerow. As it settles, coffee bean and tobacco adds a charred character alongside blackberry and cassis puree. It opens extremely slowly, with so many subtle nuances that gather in confidence. The tannins have unmistakeable Pauillac strength, but the structure and the subtlety of this wine is Pontet-Canet, with the amphoras having an influence in terms of the tannins feeling less silky than they do in many of the appellation's biggest wines, but still with swagger.
Back to a normal yield after the difficulties in 2018 with mildew that saw production drop to 12hl/ha. This is the last vintage under Jean-Michel Comme, technical director and estate manager for past 32 years. He has been replaced by Mathieu Bessonnet who has spent the last 15 years with Michel Chapoutier on his (also biodynamically farmed) estates in Australia and Alsace and who was, they tell me, selected by Comme who chose him and worked with him.
100% 1st wine, as it has been for the past four years. 55% will be aged in new oak barrel, 45% in amphoras.This is a two-point score under the 2016, because it doesn't have the concentration of that exceptional vintage, but it's an excellent Pontet, full of vigour.
Manual punching down across the entire production. Drinking range: 2028 - 2044 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter (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.
Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.
Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.
Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.
Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.
All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.
Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.
Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.
- Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
- Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
- Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
- Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
- We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.
Practical notes - how it works
We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.
Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.
Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.
One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-
- +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
- +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
- +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
- +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.
Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.